Skip to main content

Full text of "Municipal Government In Continental Europe"

See other formats

> CO 

u< OU_1 64509 >m 








Copyright, 1895, by THE CENTURY Co. 



THE many readers who have given a cordial wel- 
come to the volume on " Municipal Government 
in Great Britain/ 7 which appeared in January of this 
year, and is about to enter a third edition, will need 
no prefatory explanation of the author's method and 
point of view in this companion volume. To others 
it may be well to explain that although each of the two 
volumes is complete in itself, the earlier book is in 
some sense introductory to the present one; while 
both together are intended to serve as a general sketch 
of the history, forms, methods, motives, and results 
of municipal administration in those countries of 
Europe which have dealt most successfully and in- 
structively with the new problems arising out of the 
conditions of life in cities. The rapid expansion of the 
great towns is, perhaps, the most striking social phe- 
nomenon of the last quarter of this eventful nine- 
teenth century. The term Municipal Government, in 
the United States, is suggestive of attempts to eman- 
cipate our great towns from the control of corrupt 
and inefficient men, to the end that the revenues may 



be honestly collected and expended and public work 
properly performed, and that the police power may 
be purified from its taint of alliance with injustice 
and crime. But in Europe the honesty and the gen- 
eral efficiency of municipal government are not seri- 
ously in question anywhere. Municipal government, 
from Scotland to Hungary, is exalting the bacteriolo- 
gist and the sanitary inspector, fostering the kinder- 
garten and the technical school, and inquiring anx- 
iously about the housing of the people. I have tried 
to explain intelligibly the structure and working of 
the municipal machinery, but I have considered it a 
no less essential part of my task to describe the trans- 
formation of street-systems, and the measures by 
which death-rates have been reduced. 

To some critics it may appear that I have ascribed 
undue importance to Paris as a type and an influence 5 
yet I can hardly think that any reader will fail to 
agree that Paris is the necessary starting-point for a 
description of the modern regime in Continental 
cities. In the preceding volume I found it advanta- 
geous to select Glasgow for the more rounded and 
elaborate study of British municipal life in. the con- 
crete. In my own inquiries and observations as an 
American visitor, I had discovered that to know well 
the ways and works of the Glasgow municipality was 
to possess standards of comparison and points of 
view which afforded the best possible equipment for 
the further examination of municipal methods and 
achievements, whether in Edinburgh and Dundee, in 
Belfast and Dublin, or in Manchester, Birmingham, 


and Liverpool. But if Glasgow is the convenient 
threshold to a comparative knowledge of British 
municipal affairs, Paris in a far more essential way 
holds the key to an intelligent survey of municipal 
progress on the Continent. Whether one goes to the 
Low Countries and Scandinavia, to Switzerland and 
Italy, or to Germany and Austria-Hungary, he finds 
evidences on all hands of the abounding influence 
that the modern Paris has exerted upon the outward 
forms of European cities. And some study of the 
history and characteristics of administration will 
soon make plain to him the remarkable influence 
that the symmetrical statutory schemes of France 
have exerted upon the law-making bodies of other 

Thus in giving so large a space to Paris and the 
French system, as well, let me add, as in the differ- 
ent method employed for the description of German 
city government, there is nothing accidental either 
in the proportions or in the arrangement of the pres- 
ent volume. In various courses of lectures upon the 
administration of cities, in the Johns Hopkins Uni- 
versity and elsewhere, I have sometimes adopted the 
plan of choosing a different typical city for discus- 
sion in each lecture, and at other times have arranged 
a series of topics, illustrating each topic by citations 
from the experience of numerous cities. Each meth- 
od has its advantages; and while the first is for many 
reasons best suited to the purposes of this book, 
I have found it feasible in considerable measure to 
combine the two. I have not attempted to supply a 


cyclopedia of municipal information, and doubtless 
many things will be found lacking that would to 
one reader or another seem very important. Thus I 
have not discussed the local control of the liquor 
traffic, except for allusions to the new Hamburg 
policy which compels beer-sellers to wash their uten- 
sils and scour their mugs ! But largely as the liquor 
question enters into municipal discussion in the 
United States, it is in Europe for the most part a 
national or general rather than a municipal issue. 
I have omitted it, therefore, not because I failed to 
appreciate its importance, but rather because it is 
too distinct a question of the larger public policy for 
incidental treatment in a volume on European muni- 
cipal government. 

If this volume had been meant to give an exhaus- 
tive rather than a representative account of munici- 
pal arrangements in Europe, several additional chap- 
ters should have been added. The Scandinavian 
capitals possess much that is interesting and praise- 
worthy in their social institutions ; and their progress 
in educational and sanitary methods, as well as in 
public works ^and general aggrandizement, is cer- 
tainly worthy to be noted. Copenhagen had grown 
from 155,000 inhabitants in 1860 to about 350,000 in 
1895, or 400,000 if the immediate suburbs are in- 
cluded. Its recent improvement in health conditions 
meanwhile is shown by a steady decline of the death- 
rate, which from a much higher average in an earlier 
period had fallen to 24 per 1000 of population in 
1884, and to 18.7 in 1894. The city of Stockholm in 


the thirty years from 1865 to 1895 had almost exactly 
doubled in population, having increased from about 
130,000 to more than 260,000. Christiania meanwhile 
had grown at an amazing rate. In 1865 it was a 
town of 57,000 people, and in 1895 it had about 171,- 
000 precisely three times as many as thirty years 
before. Stockholm's death-rate was 28.7 in 1877, 24.6 
in 1884, and only 18.3 in 1894. Christiania's in 1894 
was 18.8. The methods of municipal administration 
in the Scandinavian countries resemble in some re- 
spects those of Germany, and in other regards show 
the effects of French influence, while embodying va- 
rious features peculiar to themselves. But apart 
from the three capitals, the life of the Scandinavian 
peoples is chiefly rural. 

The Swiss towns far more distinctly than the Scan- 
dinavian reveal the twofold influence of France and 
Germany. Bach Swiss canton has its own system of 
municipal and communal organization. The French- 
speaking cantons incline more strongly toward the 
methods that prevail in the provincial districts of 
France; while the towns of the German-speaking 
cantons though not organized upon the Prussian 
model show more of the German spirit and scope 
of action. I had hoped to include in this volume a 
brief chapter on recent Swiss experiments, with the 
view of presenting some account of proportional rep- 
resentation, the referendum, and other innovations as 
adopted in Switzerland. But while proportional rep- 
resentation has been gaining ground rapidly since 
1890, its application to the choice of municipal coun- 


oils has been too recent to afford much instruction to 
other countries. Geneva, Bern, and Neuchatel are 
among the towns that have entered upon this con- 
stitutional reform, and in due time Switzerland's ex- 
perience will be of great value to our American com- 
munities, some of which recognize the theoretical 
justice and advantage of minority representation 
without having found any simple and practicable mo- 
dus operandi. The Swiss are by no means sure that 
they have as yet discovered a method that they can 
widely commend. Switzerland contains none of the 
huge hives of town-dwellers that are found in the 
larger European countries ; but its town government 
is, nevertheless, in many ways worthy to be studied, 
and in some to be imitated. In all cantons, German, 
French, and Italian alike, the general town council 
forms the central fact in the municipal government. 
The phenomenon of rapid city growth is, to be 
sure, observable in Russia as elsewhere in Europe, es- 
pecially since 1.880. The story of the creation of St. 
Petersburg as a new capital and metropolis deserves a 
place, undoubtedly, in the annals of modern city-mak- 
ing. But the Russian empire for my present pur- 
poses can scarcely be regarded as a part of Europe. 
Local representative government has to a limited 
extent had a place in the conduct of the affairs of 
the great Russian towns, but of late the representa- 
tives of the house-owners have lost most of the muni- 
cipal authority they formerly possessed, a law of 1894 
greatly increasing the arbitrary power of the gov- 
ernors named by the emperor to rule over the cities. 


Nor would much benefit be derived from a survey 
of municipal institutions in Southeastern Europe be- 
yond the capital of Hungary. French engineers have 
laid out the new Athens, the new Bucharest, the new 
Belgrade and the new Sofia ; and administrative sys- 
tems in the states of the Balkan peninsula show a 
conspicuous tendency to borrow from the French 
codes. I have witnessed few sights more memorable 
than the Bulgarian capital afforded when under- 
going the process of transformation from a squalid 
Turkish farming village to a pretentious European 
town. In 1880 Sofia was a ragged settlement of cow- 
keepers, with a dismantled old church and a forlorn 
mosque or two. In the present year, 1895, Sofia 
can boast a population of at least fifty thousand, 
with all the modern municipal appointments, includ- 
ing boulevards and electric lights, and not excluding 
the accompaniment of a good-sized municipal debt. 
Belgrade, the Servian capital, has also grown rapidly 
since the treaty of Berlin, while from the Acropolis 
of Athens the visitor looks forth upon a town almost 
as new and regular as a West Superior or a Seattle. 
These marks of town development in southeastern 
Europe may be full of novelty and interest, but they 
are superficial as yet, and have little or nothing to 
teach us. The ordering of municipal affairs in a 
Grerman or Dutch or Swiss town on the other hand 
bears close inspection and gives many evidences of 
a true and admirable social progress. 

In the preparation of this volume I have found it 
3onvenient to include parts of four articles contrib- 


uted by me to the "Century Magazine"; but they have 
been fused with a much larger amount of new mate- 
rial in such a manner as quite to have lost their iden- 
tity. The Hamburg chapter has been expanded and 
rewritten from an article which I contributed last 
year to the "Atlantic Monthly " (Hamburg's New 
Sanitary Impulse, "Atlantic Monthly " for June, 1894), 
and which I am kindly permitted to reprint. A por- 
tion of the third chapter has also been borrowed from 
an article of mine entitled "Belgium and the Bel- 
gians," which appeared in the "Atlantic Monthly " in 
1890. To so many sources am I indebted for infor- 
mation or for assistance, all the way from Paris to 
Budapest, that I may not venture to publish the 
names of those who have aided me. I can only re- 
gret that circumstances have not permitted me to 
avail myself more largely of their knowledge and 

New York, October, 1895. 






SPAIN 210 



MENT 289 







I. The Budget of Paris 471 

II. The Budget of Berlin 472 

III. The French Municipal Code 474 

INDEX 493 






THE distinctively modern city had its birth in the 
French Revolution, and Paris has ever since then 
stood as its preeminent type. To French influence 
several European countries owe the administrative 
framework of their municipal governments, while 
every European capital has been more or less com- 
pletely made over in its external forms upon Parisian 

, , m, . , . , ... . Relation of 

models. The recent history or municipal progress m run* to 
continental Europe comprises much more, it is true, 
than an account of the triumphant advance from coun- 
try to country, and from capital to capital, of the trans- 
forming and modernizing influence of the new Paris : 
yet no other impulse has been so strong, no other 
spirit so dominant. It would be impossible to present 
any complete reason why Brussels, Berlin, St. Peters- 
burg, Dresden, Vienna, Budapest, or even Rome itself, 
is to-day what it is, without bringing Paris into the 
And thus a volume which would attempt to describe 

the methods and achievements of modern municipal 
i i 


CHAP. i. government in the different countries and principal 
cities of Europe must of necessity begin with Paris, 
for reasons of both logical and historical sequence. 
London and the great British towns, as I have shown 
tovmsiessin- * n a preceding volume, have attained their present 
^on^nentei municipal forms and institutions through a process of 
t0 ideas! ch development peculiarly their own. It would be easy 
to show that they too have yielded in various ways to 
the influence of the French capital; but continental 
ideas and achievements have been an indirect and 
unperceived rather than a vital and obvious impetus 
to the tasks of town improvement and municipal re- 
form in the British Islands. If the Germans have 
. . . forgotten, it is none the less true that Paris has been 

Parisian im- - /, . , T x i o T> 

press upon a prime influence in the renaissance not only of Ber- 
lin, but also of Hamburg, Frankfort, Stuttgart, Mu- 
nich, and Dresden. Berlin and Vienna have accom- 
plished magnificent results in modern city-making, 
and in the past decade or two they and perhaps 
other continental cities outside of France have adopted 
municipal appointments in some respects more scien- 
tific and effective than those of Pai'is. But Paris was 
the pioneer, and it has not yet lost its place as the 
foremost type of the thoroughly modernized city. 
French public authorities, architects, and civil engi- 
neers were the first to conceive effectually the ideas 
of symmetry and spaciousness, of order and conve- 
nience, of wholesomeness and cleanliness, in urban 

Those ideas, as embodied in the Paris of the nine- 
teenth century, have made their way even to Constan- 
tinople, and have begun the conquest of the Oriental 
cities. The medieval European town was a labyrin- 
thine tangle of narrow, dark, and foul passageways 

\"{ e town! e and allgys. Its frightful congestion was due in most 
cases to the military cincture of wall, moat, and glacis 


that yielded nothing to the growth of population,/ 
The modern spirit has thrown the walls into the moats 
to make boulevards and open spaces, has laid down 
broad and systematic thoroughfares upon the obsolete 
tangle of haphazard passages, has provided illumina- 
tion, water-supply, and drainage, and has in short 
created those appointments and conveniences that dis- 
tinguish the well-ordered city of our day from the old- 
time cities that had grown up formless and organless 
by centuries of accretion. In this brilliant nineteenth- 
century task of reconstructing cities in their physical 
characters, dealing with them as organic entities, and 
endeavoring to give such form to the visible body as 
should best accommodate the expanding life within, 
Paris has been the unrivaled leader. 

There has been some disposition, however slight, 
among English-speaking people to undervalue French 
civilization and to minimize the importance of French 
services to the world at large. The attainments of 
German scholarship in many directions are so colossal; 
the recent German applications of recondite scientific 
inquiry to the protection of the public health, and in 
various ways to the practical arts of life, have been so 
remarkable ; and German energy and prestige are now 
so dominant, that in our admiration for the achieve- 
ments of this younger people we are in danger, per- 
haps, of according less than her full due to France. 
It is something to remember that all countries are 
under permanent obligations to the clear political 
philosophy that furnished the French Revolution with 
its principles, while most countries are not less in- 
debted to modern France for lessons in the science 
and art of public administration. Nor is it a trifling 
debt we owe to the refined and artistic tastes of the 
French people for a host of the amenities and com- 
forts of our modern life. 


Modern ur- 
ban expan- 
sion as in- 
by Paris. 

French ver- 
sus German 
tions to so- 
cial progress. 


CHAP. i. 'When the French began to teach the new art of 

building cities, men were far from a realization of the 

city life and fact that the twentieth century was destined to dawn 

weifere. upon a group of nations that had adopted city life for 
the majority of their people; nor did men perceive 
that the mere difference bet Veen good and bad muni- 
cipal arrangements would signify either the conserva- 
tion of the race in bodily vigor and in the education' 
of mind and hand, or else its rapid physical and mental 
deterioration. It meant less for the nation at large 
that in towns like the Paris of the eighteenth century 
the death-rate was always higher than the birth-rate, 
for the reason that the urban population was in those 
times small in comparison with the rural. But if 
such a condition were prevalent in our day, the con- 
sequences would be too dreadful to contemplate. Yet it 
is true that without urban improvements of the kind 
that the French people first instituted, the yearly 
number of deaths would now considerably exceed the 
yearly number of births in all large centers of popu- 

It is marvelous to note the ceaseless operations of 
the transforming energy derived from the Revolution. 
Rather inconspicuously placed in a hallway of one of 
the buildings in which the municipal authorities of 

Parisian the capital made their extraordinary display at the 
Sons. Exposition of 1889, was a map that had a fascinating 
interest. It was a street map of Paris, showing by 
different colors the periods in which the great boule- 
vards, avenues, squares, and other visible improve- 
ments had been constructed. No change in the higher 
government had seemed to check the mighty impulse. 
Everything that lay in the way of the broad, straight 
swath of a new avenue was razed unmercifully, and 
the street system of the old inner metropolis was made 
to conform to the systems of the splendid new quarters 


that were springing into existence, especially toward CHAP. i. 
the west. 

In the days of the Revolution the site of the pres- 
ent Place de la Concorde, where the guillotine was then 
so active, was upon the very western outskirts of Paris, 
while the prison of the Bastille whose destruction in 
July, 1789, opened most significantly that long course 
of wholesale Parisian, demolition, in order that free- 
dom, science, and sunlight might replace the oppres- 
sion, ignorance, and gloom of the old regime was 
then on the eastern limits, and beyond it lay the open 
country. North of the inner line of boulevards, which 
had been already laid out, there was practically no 
Paris; and south of the H6tel des Invalides and the 
Luxembourg, beyond which the vast city now stretches 
so far, there were in those days fields and a farming 

It should not be inferred, however, that these new 
parts have since arisen upon a ground-plan wisely pro- 
vided in advance. To some extent, it is true, such has 
been the case, and in the newest quarters of Paris Nature or 
for instance, in Passy, Neuilly, and other suburbs be- 
yond the gates on the west the magnificent avenues 
have been laid down upon the open fields, and the ex- 
ercise of forethought will have saved all the cost and 
trouble of subsequent reconstruction. But even in 
Paris, since the Revolution, there has been some of 
the improvidence that prevails elsewhere ; and while 
the inevitable municipal plow has been cutting its 
stupendous furrows in one direction, new quarters 
have been allowed to form themselves improperly 
somewhere else, with the result of costly reconstruc- 
tion when the time comes for extending to them the 
main arterial system of the metropolis. 

Perhaps if parts of this Parisian transformatiqn had 
been delayed until a later period, certain causes would 


CHAP. i. 


was the 

have operated to make it less thorough. At the close 
of the French Revolution, and for some decades there- 
after, there was in Europe no sentiment for old archi- 
tectural monuments, and especially none for medieval 
churches. This sentiment now pervades all Europe ; 
and the most affectionate preservation, with cautious, 
faithful restorations, is the order everywhere. 

Such a spirit was lacking in the generations imme- 
diately preceding our own, and nowhere was its ab- 
sence more complete than in the French capital. The 
religious orders had built their great monastic houses 
and their splendid churches everywhere in Paris. 
They were a privileged caste and a heavy burden. 
The Revolution had no mercy upon them or their beau- 
tiful architecture, and the new street system plowed 
through their churches as relentlessly as through 
shabby tenement rows. Scores of examples of the 
most beautiful ecclesiastical structures of the middle 
ages were obliterated to make room for broad, straight 
avenues, open squares, and new, regular buildings. 
Nowadays such sacrilege would not be tolerated. 

It is fortunate, therefore, for the Parisians that their 
central street reforms were chiefly accomplished before 
the rise of the new appreciation of church architec- 
ture. There are enough old churches remaining 
throughout France, if not in Paris itself, to represent 
adequately the beautiful art and workmanship of the 
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The narrow old 
Parisian streets of the last century wound in and out 
among these venerable piles in a manner that modern 
traffic could not have endured. To have spared them 
would have been to deprive Paris forever of an ade- 
quate street system. It was far better to sacrifice them 
and to make the city uncompromisingly modern. The 
population in 1789 was about 600,000, and in 1889 it 
was 2,500,000, including that of the immediate sub- 


urbs. And with the fourfold increase of population CHAP. i. 
there was at least a tenfold increase of traffic and of 
daily pressure upon the accommodations of the main 
street system. These facts, to my inind, fully vindi- 
cate the wisdom, redeem the " vandalism," and justify 
the immense cost of the modernization of Paris. It 
was the mission of France to teach the world a lesson 
of order, system, and logic, of emancipation and icono- miS8ioll 
clasm. Paris was made the visible embodiment of of Paris to 

embody the 

the revolt against the iniquities of the old regime, and new era. 
of the creative vigor of the new era. We would not 
wish to see Rome modernized in any such spirit ; and, 
indeed, the great reforms now progressing there, of 
which I shall write in a subsequent chapter, proceed 
upon the principle of preserving with the greatest 
veneration and care all important archaeological re- 
mains and all worthy specimens of ecclesiastical archi- 
tecture. But it was for Paris to sacrifice everything to 
the modern ideas of symmetry, spaciousness, and regu- 
larity, and to build the great opera-house as a central 
feature, and as a suggestive symbol of the new spirit. 

Louis XIV. and Louis XV. had not been without improve- 
ments under 

magnificent ideas for Paris, and they had left improve- 
ments palaces, royal pleasure-grounds, boulevards, 
churches that make a considerable array when put 
into a list j but these things, done to gratify the royal 
pride, had been of almost no benefit to the people, 
and had not affected materially the medieval condi- 
tions. The absolutism of these monarchs could never 
have availed to cut the Grordian knots of a thousand 
claims, prescriptive rights, and intolerable immunities 
that the nobles, the religious orders, the old guilds, and 
various other corporate and private interests tena- 
ciously asserted. Only a revolution, sweeping every- 
thing away and beginning anew upon simple princi- 
ples, could have effected any radical improvement. 



Street re- 
forms from 
1790 to 1850. 

The Hauss- 


tion of the 
tie de la 

The work of remaking Paris, after the Revolution, 
was begun upon the lines of a general plan for the 
cutting of new streets, prepared by a so-called " Com- 
mission des Artistes." The plan included 108 distinct 
projects. Although political changes interfered with 
the full execution of this particular plan, the work of 
reconstruction did not cease. Under the great Na- 
poleon the rues de Eivoli, Castiglione, des Pyraniides, 
and various other modern thoroughfares were created. 
To the fifteen years of the Restoration a further con- 
siderable list must be credited, including, among 
others, the rues de Chabrol, du 29 Juillet, Lafitte, and 
those of the Quartier de PEurope. And under Louis 
Philippe (1830-48) the rues de Rambuteau, de la 
Bourse, de Lyon, du Havre, de Mazagran, and others 
were opened. 

But it was in the period from 1852 to 1871, under 
Louis Napoleon, that the most comprehensive and 
magnificent work was done. A huge scheme was laid 
out, under the supervision of Baron Haussmann as 
prefect of the Seine, for the binding together of all 
the quarters of Paris by a system of grand avenues of 
general communication. 

The reforms immediately following the Revolution 
had dealt almost exclusively with the astounding con- 
gestion at the very heart of Paris. Nobody but the 
student could now believe the whole truth about the 
changes that have been wrought since 1790 in the vi- 
cinity of the Louvre. The original Paris, ancient 
Lutetia, was nothing more than the island in the 
Seine upon which the Cathedral of Notre Dame stands. 
This lie de la Cit6, as it is still called, contained at the 
period of the Revolution a great number of small 
streets, fifteen or twenty churches, and a population 
of twenty thousand or more. Those who visit it to- 
day find the island given over to a few great public 


in the 

buildings the Central Courts of Justice (Palais de CHAP. i. 
Justice), an immense hospital (H6tel Dieu), the Prefec- 
ture of Police, the Tribunal of Commerce, and two or 
three other public establishments. It is flanked by 
broad, smooth stone quays, is symmetrically laid out 
with open squares and a few spacious streets, and not 
more than, perhaps, one tenth of its area is occupied 
by private buildings. Thousands of small, ancient 
houses were cleared away, and the modern lie de la 
Cit6, with the restored cathedral, the splendid quays, 
the massive public edifices, the new bridges, the flower- 
market, and the mor'gue, made its appearance. A 
like transformation was wrought in that central por- 
tion of Paris lying between the Louvre and the H6tel 
de Ville (City Hall), covered as it was with ancient 
huddled structures, among which narrow passages 
wound bewilderingly, and where culs-de-sac were found 
by the score. And thus also an examination of the 
maps and the historical monographs prepared by 
scholars who have restored for our knowledge the 
Paris of 1789, would show that the other innermost 
parts of the metropolis were boldly and ruthlessly dealt 
with in the decades following the upheaval. 

The task that the Emperor Louis Napoleon set be- 
fore himself related not so much to the inner Paris of 
the old-time bounds although his scheme also em- 
braced prodigious reforms in the central area as to 
the great town that had spread itself beyond the inner 
boulevards, and that lacked a main circulatory sys- 
tem. Not only did the outlying arrondissements need 
broad avenues of communication with the center and 
with each other, but the very fact of their existence, 
making a heightened traffic-pressure upon the old 
streets of the inner district, demanded the amplifica- 
tion of facilities at the core. With a bold and sympa- 
thetic spirit like Baron Haussmann as prefect of the 

Projects of 
the Third 




The remak- 
ing' of the 

The system 
of main thor- 

Department of the Seine (in effect the Emperor's ap- 
pointed and permanent mayor of Paris), and with no 
authority to obstruct the rapid execution of his mag- 
nificent plans, Napoleon proceeded to reconstruct 
Paris as a Pullman Company creates a model town, 
or as the director-general of a universal exposition 
lays out his spacious grounds and arranges his showy 
edifices. Haussmann held his post from 1853 to 1870; 
and in that period he had created gigantic boulevards 
and avenues by the hundred; had laid out great num- 
bers and large areas of open squares, parks, and plea- 
sure-grounds; had erected public buildings in all parts 
of Paris; had with equal energy developed a sewer 
system and created a water-supply ; and had given the 
people a scheme of public services far in advance of 
any other great city of that period. 

The plan of the new Paris is by no means so geo- 
metrical and easily understood as that of Washington 
(which, it should be remembered, was laid out by a 
French engineer, who had brought to America the 
impulse and the ideas of the Parisian Commission des 
Artistes), but it is none the less a philosophical and 
practical arrangement. Originally the narrow streets 
and lanes of Paris were either parallel with the Seine 
in general direction, or were at right angles with the 
river. It became necessary to give the new Paris 
main thoroughfares broad enough and straight enough 
to accommodate traffic through the heart of the city 
along these original lines. Further, it was deemed 
necessary to construct a great number of diagonal 
avenues and boulevards directly connecting important 
localities. Still further, new lines of engirdling boule- 
vards were found desirable; and finally, there were 
important reforms to be instituted in the suburban 
street systems. The net public expenditure incurred 
between 1852 and 1870 in carrying out the Hauss- 



mann-Napoleon project of new boulevards and ave- 
nues was in excess of 1,200,000,000 francs. The gross 
outlay was much greater, but large amounts of the 
original investment were recovered from time to time 
by the sale of building sites, the municipality having, 
by condemnation proceedings in every case, acquired 
the properties through which in part a new street 
would pass. 

After 1870 the work naturally proceeded with less 
energy, on account of military reverses, political 
changes, and heavy expenditures in other directions. 
But a number of important new projects have been 
carried out since 1875, and each year sees some addi- 
tion to the main street system. Private individuals 
have been obliged to conform strictly to the plans 
and regulations of the municipality in building up the 
new frontage, and thus there has resulted that mar- 
velous regularity elegant and impressive rather than 
monotonous which is the characteristic of Parisian 
street architecture. The period since the war with 
Germany has witnessed a greater fidelity in matters 
of detail, a higher degree of artistic taste and skill, 
and a stricter and more businesslike financiering. 
For nearly twenty years (from the war till his death 
in about 1893) the distinguished administrator M. 
Alphand, as director of the public works of Paris, 
gave his unceasing and comprehensive attention to 
all the problems that belong to the street system, the 
public architecture, the water-supply, and the drainage 
of a great city, and the list of his achievements would 
fill many pages. Under his supervision the Avenue 
de POpera was constructed, with brilliant financial 
success, involving the renovation of the Bntte des 
Mouliiis, one of the worst of surviving slum quarters. 
To this period belong the boulevards Saint-Germain 
and Henri IV., and many another great thoroughfare. 




plans strictly 


Alphand and 
the more re- 
cent street 

Avenue de 


CHAP. i. In the summer of 1891, on the occasion of the formal 
opening of the new Avenue de la R&publique, the pre- 
fect remarked: "Important as this avenue publicly 
opened to-day may be, it merely adds one more to the 
network of highways of communication which within 
twenty years has given a new physiognomy to the 
capital. The misfortunes of war retarded for a time 
this movement of transfiguration; but as soon as 
France had regained possession of herself, Paris set 
herself to the task. Works of general utility rapidly 
Reforms succeeded one another, with tangible results that have 
un Th?rd he l> een augmented a hundredfold by the concurrent 
Republic, activity of private enterprise, and the confidence of 
private capital in the public projects of development." 
The prefect goes on to recount the directions in which 
the work of public improvement has accomplished 
most since 1871; and he makes a very impressive 
summary. Indeed, the public works that have been 
executed in the twenty years from 1875 to 1895 have 
in all likelihood cost a larger sum in the aggregate 
than those carried out in the twenty years following 
the coup d'ttat of July, 1851. The Haussmann trans- 
formations were begun when Paris had only a million 
Magnitude people and an area of only thirteen square miles. Their 
operations, scope was enlarged when in 1861 the boundaries were 
extended to the girdle of fortifications and made to 
include thirty square miles, with a total population of 
1,700,000. But in 1875 the authorities had to provide 
for nearly two million people, a number that in 1895 
was fast approaching three millions. These last two 
decades have witnessed transformations less preten- 
tious and not so widely advertised, but touching more 
closely and deeply the lives of the people, and minis- 
tering more perfectly to the best demands of modern 
civilization. Services of education, of cleanliness and 
of health, on a vast and varied scale, have occupied 




Social ser- 
vices now 
take first 

the administrative machinery that was once so en- 
grossed with boulevards and architecture. These out- 
ward aggrandizements have had attention too, and 
the public works have been carried to perfections of 
detail that Napoleon's officials could hardly have an- 
ticipated. But greater stress in the period of the 
third republic has been laid upon the less palpable 
but no less important social services that enlist at 
once the best efforts of engineers, architects, sanita- 
rians, sociologists, educators, artists, and philanthro- 
pists; and thus municipal Paris to-day, as never 
before, is equipped for the positive promotion of the 
well-being of all its people, old and young. 

In Paris before the Revolution there was, as Mr. 
Frederic Harrison has said, " a chaos of competing 
authorities, a tangle of obsolete privileges, and a nest 
of scandalous abuses. Anomalous courts jostled and 
scrambled for jurisdiction; ancient guilds and cor- 
porations blocked eveiy reform; atrocious injustice 
and inveterate corruption reigned high-handed in the 
name of king, noble, or church." This, indeed, does Theoid-time 
not tell us what the mechanism of the municipal gov- 
ernment was, but it shows us well enough its spirit 
and its results. For our purpose it suffices to add 
that the city, so far as it was centrally governed, was 
administered by a provost, or mayor, deriving author- 
ity directly from the king; and that various old, sur- 
viving local bodies shared, in an anomalous way, in 
the minor affairs of the municipality. 

The liberal legislation of 1789-90 gave Paris, with 
the other communes of France, a fully constituted, rule system 

. . 7 J ' 

autonomous municipal government. The city was 
divided into forty-eight sections, each of which elected 
two common councilors, in addition to which a body 
of thirty-two councilors of higher rank, or aldermen, 

as adopted 




Changed by 
the Direct- 
ory in 1795. 

How Napo- 
leon gov- 
erned Paris. 

The master- 
ful prefect. 

The elective 

council of 


were elected, while the executive work was intrusted 
to a popularly elected mayor and sixteen administra- 
tors, so called. The whole body of 145 governed the 
city, the mayor presiding over the council and direct- 
ing the active administration. In the fact of the pop- 
ular election of the mayor this constitution resembles 
those of our American cities. The councilors and ad- 
ministrators were elected for two-year terms, half of 
the places being filled annually. It was a fairly ac- 
ceptable form of municipal government. But the 
Directory, in 1795, with its theory of cantonal adminis- 
tration, consolidated the smaller communes of France 
and cut up the larger ones. Paris was divided into a 
dozen municipalities, with some sort of central admin- 
istrative bureau, which the Directory constituted and 
managed in its own interest. The work that the Di- 
rectory began, Napoleon completed. He abolished 
absolutely the central mayoralty, and created the sem- 
blance of a central communal council, all the mem- 
bers of which were his own appointees. In each of 
the twelve sections, or arrondissements, as they have 
since that time been called, he established a so-called 
mayor, with assistants. But these officers were sim- 
ply the local agents of the prefect, and were in no 
usual sense municipal authorities. The real governor 
of Paris was the prefect of the Department of the 
Seine a department including Paris and some sub- 
urban communes. All administration was in his hands. 
In the levying of taxes and the planning of public 
works he had the advice of the municipal council of 
Paris and of the council-general of the department, 
all the members of which were the appointees of the 
central power. The revolution of 1830 improved mat- 
ters to the extent of giving to Parisians of certain 
electoral qualifications the right to choose the munici- 
pal council. But the central mayoralty was not re- 


vived, and the prefect, with his subordinates, and CHAP. i. 
with the appointive officers of the arrondissements, 
governed the city still. 

As in the country at large, so in Paris the brilliant 
revolution of 1848 restored for a brief interval the 

autonomy of communities. Paris again had its elected s isk u 
municipal council, its own chosen mayor and execu- 
tive staff. But the empire of Louis Napoleon took 
the city completely out of the hands of its inhabitants meffods'rc. 
and restored the system of the first empire. The iia- V1 i852. m 
tional assembly of 1871, after the downfall of the 
empire, restored to Paris its elective council, but 
stopped there, promising that further concessions to 
the principle of self-government should be made at concessions 
some subsequent time. Since then the suffrage, which smce 1871 ' 
was virtually universal, has been made entirely so. 
But Paris is still actively governed, as under Louis 
Napoleon, by the prefect of the Seine and his col- 
league, the prefect of police, both of whom are ap- 
pointed by the general government and are amenable prefects. 
directly to the Minister of the Interior. In the smaller 
communes of France the police power is now confided 
to the municipal authorities, and is exercised actively 
by the mayors. In the larger ones a purely domestic 
police authority is exercised by the municipal officers, 
while a general control of police is vested in the pre- 
fect and his sub-prefects. But Paris is deemed too 
vast for the union of ordinary business administration 
and police administration in the hands of the one 
prefect of the department ; and the police authority, 
covering a wider range of functions than the simple authority. 
organization of the police force and the management 
of the police courts and station-houses, is put in the 
hands of a separate official, the prefect of police. 

Paris has now for many years been subdivided into 
twenty arrondissements, and in each of them there is 


CHAP. i. a central building called the "mairie," in which is 
ihetwent *k e bureau of an officer called the "maire" (mayor). 

mairies. He is assisted by three adjuncts. These men, who 
are appointed officers of the general government, 
and are, in fact, simply the agents or delegates 
of the prefect of the Seine, with a staff of clerks 
and assistants, attend to a vast amount of routine 
business for the higher authorities and for the city 
so far as the population of their several arrondis- 
sements is concerned. They make the registration 

centers of lists for elections. They record births, deaths, and 

local admin- , _. , ,-,..<, 

istration. weddings, and perform the civil ceremony of mar- 
riage. They receive taxes, have to do with matters 
of elementary education, render "assistance publique," 
i. e.j administer the poor laws in their respective 
districts, enroll under the army-service acts those 
liable to military duty, and perform various other 
routine functions. These twenty Parisian centers 
of local administration are admirably organized and 
conducted, and under any scheme whatsoever of a 
reconstructed municipal government they would be 
allowed to remain. 

The municipal council of Paris consists of eighty 
. . members, four from each of the twentv arrondisse- 

The munici- 7 * 

pai council, ments. Each arrondissement is subdivided into four 
quarters, and each quarter elects a municipal coun- 
cilor. They are elected for three years, and all retire 
together. The municipal council of Paris, plus a few 
representatives of the outlying communes of the De- 
partment of the Seine, constitutes the council-general 
of the department. Since these outlying communes 
suburban (grouped in the two arrondissements of Sceaux arid 
the DC- Saint Denis) are, in fact, the immediate suburbs of 
Paris, there seems to be no good reason why the city's 
jurisdiction should not be made coextensive with that 
of the department, so that the business of the municipal 



council and that of the council-general might be 
merged. The communes outside the fortifications of 
Paris have their elective councils and distinct muni- 
cipal organizations, but all come under the common 
executive control of the two prefects. 

Ever since 1871 there has been a constant demand 
upon the part of Paris, as represented by its muni- 
cipal council, for a restoration of its central mayor- 
alty and a release from its alleged position of tute- 
lage. The situation of the council is declared to be 
humiliating and unsatisfactory. Its champions as- 
sert that it is dominated by the prefect, who has the 
right to attend its sessions and to take the floor 
whenever he pleases, and who is absolutely unac- 
countable to it for his management of the city's busi- 
ness. The council has, it is true, large discretionary 
power over finances and taxation, and indirectly con- 
trols most of the departments of administration, and 
the construction of public works, through its hold 
upon the purse-strings. But the complaint is made 
that it is, at best, hampered and restricted. The pre- 
fect is in theory accountable to the Minister of the 
Interior : but the prefect has not only to administer 
the affairs of the city, but also to act as the political 
representative of the government of the day ; and in 
fact it is in his character as the political agent of the 
government, we are told, that he is held account- 
able. French ministries are too short-lived, and too 
busy with interests more vitally affecting themselves, 
to permit the Minister of the Interior to hold the 
prefect of the Seine to a frequent and careful ac- 
counting for the ordinary administration of the af- 
fairs of Paris. Such is the argument of the Parisian 

There is some reason to believe that Paris may 
ultimately be given its own elective mayor and ex- 


A central 




A proposed 
new consti- 
tution for 

Election of 

mayor and 

adjuncts of 


ecutive corps, but there is no immediate prospect of 
such a change. The question has been much con- 
sidered by the municipal council. A few years ago a 
council committee of which Sigismund Lacroix was 
chairman reported an interesting scheme of muni- 
cipal organization for Paris. Nothing serious ever 
came of it, and reforms on paper are too numerous 
in France to be remembered from one season to the 
next. Nevertheless, Lacroix's plan possesses for our 
purposes a certain illustrative value because it em- 
bodies French views of municipal organization for a 
great city. It provided for a council consisting of at 
least four members from each arrondisseinent, but 
with additional representation for the larger ones, 
increasing the total body from eighty to one hundred 
and nine members. The councilors were to be elected 
for three years, one third retiring annually, as in 
England, and the elections were to be upon a general 
arrondissement ticket a great improvement upon 
the present plan of " uninominal " election in quar- 
ters, which necessarily tends to fill the council with 
obscure men. It was provided that this council 
should be free from the present possibilities of sus- 
pension and dissolution by the higher authorities. 

Paris is the only French city that is without its 
own mayor, Lyons having recently been allowed to 
resume a full-fledged municipal government after 
years of tutelage similar to that of Paris. The La- 
croix proposition authorized the council to elect from 
its own membership a mayor and eight adjuncts, 
forming an executive corps. Each of the adjuncts 
was to be assigned to the leadership of a municipal 
department, for which he should be responsible to 
the council, while the mayor was made accountable 
in a general way as chairman of the executive corps. 
The mayor and the adjuncts were to keep their seats 



in the municipal council, with power to speak and to 
vote. In all the other French cities the mayor is 
also the presiding officer of the council ; but Lacroix's 
committee held that in the case of Paris it would be 
advisable for the council to relieve that functionary 
from the routine duties of the presidency, and to 
name another member of the council for the task of 
the speakership of the municipal parliament. The ex- 
ecutive corps i.e., the mayor and his eight adjuncts 
was invested with the appointing and removing 
power for all employees and agents of the municipal 
administration, upon the initiative of the adjunct 
whose particular department was concerned. To do 
the routine work now done in the mairie buildings of 
the arrondissements, it was provided that four or five 
officials should be appointed by the mayor's corps as 
" delegates of the mairie," to render the services now 
performed by the agents of the prefect. The council 
was to have full control of taxation and finance, but 
could not borrow money without the direct ratifica- 
tion of the voters at a popular election. The muni- 
cipal authorities were to have entire management of the 
educational system, primary, secondary, and higher. 

Apart from the peculiar conditions under which 
Paris is placed, these propositions, as it seems to me, 
embody an excellent municipal constitution. Its har- 
mony and simplicity are not the least of its merits. 
Although it was an unrealized project, it is worthy of 
notice as an indication of what current European judg- 
ment and experience would pronounce a good frame- 
work of municipal organization. 

It must not be supposed that all elements in Paris 
are clamorous for a larger degree of municipal au- 
tonomy. The educated and propertied classes, as a 
rule, prefer that the general government should keep 
its strong hand upon Parisian administration. They 


To have 

seats in the 



tion and 

An excellent 

The conser- 
vative sen- 
timent of 


CHAP. i. are somewhat distrustful of the municipal council, 
which they regard as radical and socialistic in its ten- 
dencies. There is very much to be said upon both 
sides. Paris has always, except for the brief inter- 
vals of the first and second republics, been administered 
by the central authorities. The change of prefects 
has at times been frequent as ministries have risen 
and fallen ; but the skilled administrative heads of 
the various municipal services, together with their 
corps of trained civil servants, have been practically 
" permanent. It has been possible to carry out great 
policies of public improvement, and there has been a 
high and well-ordered efficiency in the execution of 
all kinds of municipal functions. If the municipal 
council had been all-powerful, it is possible that pub- 
lic business would have been less effectively prose- 
cuted, and also that public works would have been 
upon a less magnificent scale. Upon the other hand, 
it is possible that the real welfare of the masses of 
the Parisian people would have been more carefully 
guarded in some respects, and that the burdens of 
taxation would have been lighter. These are con- 
troverted questions, and I am not able to answer 

The municipal council certainly contains a number 
of able and honest men ; but as a whole it is open to 
the charge of being a body of men mediocre and un- 

character of known, and the primary reason for this is plain enough. 

members. Bach member is elected in a separate district, eighty 
in all. The opportunity for what we in America call 
" ward politics " is altogether too favorable. It is not, 
of course, legally requisite that the councilor should 
be a resident of the quarter he represents, but in prac- 
tice he is likely to be. Candidate A placards the quar- 
ter with gaudy posters declaring that as a resident he 
can represent the people far more satisfactorily than 



CHAP. i. 

SI tScts! s " 

candidate B, who lives in an arrondissement at the 
opposite end of the city. Whereupon candidate B 
issues a manifesto in which he promises to obviate 
the difficulty by taking a residence in the quarter if 
he is elected. 

Such a system does not tend to fill the council with 
men known to Paris at large. Election upon a gen- 
eral arrondissement ticket, as proposed in the Lacroix 
draft, and as harmonizing with the general municipal 
system of France, would result in greatly improving 
the average quality of the council. I am inclined to 
the opinion that it would be still better to elect a por- 
tion of the council upon a general ticket for the whole 
city, with the idea of securing men of acknowledged 
note and standing for candidates. While, then, I must 
confess some sympathy with the idea of greater mu- 
nicipal autonomy for Paris, I can also appreciate 
the reasons which actuate conservative Parisians, re- 
membering the horrors of the communal uprising of 
1871, in clinging to the strong arm of France. 

I would not for a moment have it inferred that the 
council of Paris as at present constituted is not a more 
intelligent and efficient body of men than the average 

i IT ., T ft i A , Comparative 

council or aldermanic board of a large American city, standing of 
If it had somewhat more control over the executive 
administration, and if it were elected upon a less mi- 
nutely local plan, I believe that it would soon become 
a magnificent assembly to which it would be a great 
honor to belong superior, possibly, in distinction to 
the councils of Berlin and Vienna, and equal to the 
new council of metropolitan London. Such positions 
should have no emoluments, or else should have large 
ones. A Paris councilor is not supposed to draw a 
salary, but he has been accustomed to allow himself 
4000 francs a year for expenses. In view of excep- 
tional demands, he increased this allowance for the 


CHAP. i. Exposition year 1889 to 6000 francs ($1200), and he 
has since neglected to reduce it. 

To understand aright the municipal system of Paris, 
one must bear constantly in mind the relationship that 
the capital city bears to the nation. The citizens of 
Marseilles have comparatively little interest in the 
municipal affairs of Lyons. Local institutions in the 
provinces concern only the localities or the provinces 
individually. France as a whole has ordained a cer- 
tain uniformity in the type of local government, and 
National has retained from the Napoleonic era a centralized 

cla paris. pou system of executive oversight; but in ordinary mat- 
ters France has no disposition to interfere with mu- 
nicipal and communal self-government. The case of 
Paris, however, is wholly exceptional. The great capi- 
tal city is regarded as belonging not alone to its citi- 
zens but also to all the people of France. Its mag- 
nificence has been attained in large measure at the 
cost of the national treasury, through many decades 
and under different dynasties and forms of govern- 
ment. The French nation at large is not conscious 
of any feeling of hostility toward Paris, and has no 
other policy for the capital than one of ambitious lib- 
erality. The aggregation of national establishments 
at Paris is something without parallel in any other 
country. The central government continues by yearly 
subventions to bear a considerable portion of the cost 

Reasonable- ^ var i us departments of the municipal administra- 
tion. Inasmuch as the governmental organs of the 

& . 

French republic are all of them centered in Pans, a 

t n -L * i. 

government, municipal government carried on by a prefect who is 
directly accountable to the national rather than to the 
municipal chamber does not of necessity result in 
friction. Upon its face, the demand for a mayor to 
be elected by the municipal council of Paris would 
seem at first to be reasonable; but a more careful 

tional parti- 

ciation in 




study of the situation, both theoretically and practi- 
cally, has led me to the conclusion that as satisfactory 
results are probably obtainable through the present 
system, which unites national and local authority in 
the government of Paris, as would flow from one which 
would seem to give the citizens a higher degree of 

Certainly the government of Paris at first seems to 
divide responsibilities in a manner likely to produce 
constant friction, and to interfere most distractingly 
with the accomplishment of large plans requiring 
harmony and foresight. The municipal council, 
elected by the votes of all the citizens of , the eighty 
quarters, meets in its sumptuous hall in the Hotel 
de Ville almost every day to debate all points of 
municipal policy and outlay. In its hands rests the 
all-essential power to vote supplies or to withhold 
them. Its eight or ten large standing committees 
are at pains to acquaint themselves with all the de- 
partments of practical municipal activity. 

But this municipal council has no immediate 
authority over the administrative machine. The 
prefect of the Department of the Seine, who owes 
his appointment to the general government, and 
whose immediate superior is the Minister of the In- 
terior, is in fact the mayor of Paris, with complete 
executive authority; that is to say, his authority is 
complete within the sphere assigned to him, and 
is incomplete only to the extent of those municipal 
tasks the management of which has been confided 
by law to the prefect of police. For limited and 
well-defined purposes, the prefect of police may also 
be regarded as mayor of Paris. In theory, it is 
somewhat difficult to draw the line that separates 
the jurisdiction of these two high officials. In prac- 
tice, however, that line has been well demarcated, 


The sphere 

of the 

The sphere 
of the 




The prefects 

as mayors in 


Functions of 

the police 


Relation of 

prefects to 


and each understands where his own responsibility 
ends and that of his colleague begins. In case of 
any actual disagreement, the disputed question is re- 
ferred to the Minister of the Interior, whose decision 
settles the immediate issue and also forms a prece- 
dent It would be entirely possible to make the 
prefect of police a great bureau chief subject to 
the prefect of the Seine as his superior; but, with 
the general government near at hand to reconcile 
all differences, the plan of a dual mayoralty does 
not work badly in practice. It grows, moreover, out 
of very ancient Parisian customs. In general, the 
prefect of the Seine has control of most of the great 
regular departments of municipal administration; 
while the prefect of police, although some of his 
functions have from time to time been transferred 
to his colleague, retains control over the ordinary 
police administration, is the strong right arm of 
criminal justice, and has charge of various services 
relating to the safety and convenience of traffic in 
the streets, the protection of life and property, the 
enforcement of sanitary regulations, and several 
kindred matters. 

The municipal council elects its own president 
and has its own interior organization for its work. 
The two prefects have the right of the floor in all 
meetings of the municipal council, and may always 
demand a hearing. They may also bring with them 
their important assistants and heads of working de- 
partments. The prefects, with the aid of their bureau- 
cracy of subordinate executive officials, make up the 
provisional budgets, and assist in the discussion of 
all financial questions in the sessions of the muni- 
cipal council. As regards parts of the budget, in- 
cluding the police estimates, the law requires that 
the council vote the sums asked. 


Inasmuch as French cabinets rise and fall with CHAP, i, 
proverbial frequency, there is the constant possibility 
of a change in the offices of the two prefects who Theclian ,,. 
administer Paris. Naturally the government of the ^'{^; 
day would wish to be certain of the loyalty to itself eminent. 
of the great administrative heads of the capital city. 
With the complete renewal of the entire municipal 
council every three years under a system of univer- 
sal suffrage, and with eighty small districts electing 
each a single member, there is always practical cer- 
tainty of a considerable number of new councilors. 
There are numerous quarters, it is true, that have 
reflected their councilor for several successive terms ; 
nevertheless, no one can deny the palpable fact that 
the municipal council of Paris is a radical rather 
than a conservative body, and that, while possessing 
a good average of intelligence and personal character, 
its tendency is towards doctrinaire innovations. 

Over against this rather strenuous and high-keyed 
chamber of eighty councilors who certainly have 
much less of bourgeois caution and of instinctive 
respect for the large taxpayer than corresponding 
municipal councils in England and Germany the 
observer finds a great administrative organization 
completely in the hands of a government prefect? 
supplemented by a colleague of like rank who exer- 
cises police jurisdiction. When, as a foreign in- 
quirer, I have sought to learn whether the prefect or wcouncu 
the council really dominated Paris, I have found rca iiatV? nl " 
much conflict of opinion. The majority of the mu- 
nicipal council themselves, together with the host of 
advanced Parisian radicals and the growing army 
of socialists, declare that the prefect is dominant, and 
that Paris is thereby deprived of its appropriate 
measure of municipal self-rule. They demand an 
organization like that of any other French city, 




upon the 

point of 


Harmony of 

Council sub- 
ject to little 
undue in- 

whereby the mayor and the executive government 
may be evolved out of the bosom of the popularly 
chosen municipal council. On the other hand, the 
prefects themselves, and the great majority of those 
citizens who call themselves conservative and mod- 
erate in their political views, declare that through 
its hold upon the purse-strings the municipal coun- 
cil exercises a sufficiently dominating local control 
over administration, and that the constant presence 
of the prefect on the floor of the municipal chamber, 
where he is subjected to the full moral influence of 
every debate, brings him into such intimate and vital 
relationships with the representatives of the citizens 
that the average result is not discordant. 

It must be remembered that the French cabinet 
is the creature of the Chamber of Deputies, that the 
chamber itself is keenly sensitive to the influence of 
Parisian public opinion, and that all political ele- 
ments and interests are in general agreement upon 
the proposition that the splendor of Paris must be 
maintained and increased, and that its municipal ser- 
vices must be conducted with the highest attainable 
degree of administrative probity, efficiency, and tech- 
nical skill. The municipal council, certainly, cannot 
be accused of any apathy with regard to the munici- 
pal aggrandizement of Paris. Being relieved of all 
direct responsibility for the actual handling of the 
public revenues, the councilors are subject to com- 
paratively slight temptation. They have no contracts 
to let, no departmental offices at their disposal, and 
in short the least possible chance to use their power 
for private gain. But, with a natural jealousy of the 
prefect, who is not of their own creation, and who is 
not directly accountable to them, they are at liberty 
to watch his administration with the utmost keen- 
ness. In the exercise of their control over the bud- 


get, they are naturally eager to scrutinize all expendi- CHAP. i. 
tures, with no motive for passing over anything that 
could be deemed questionable. 

On the other hand the ministry of the day, con- 
scious of the precariousness of its tenure and aware 
that any detected unfaithfulness on the part of 
its important agent the prefect of the Seine might 
easily cause its own downfall, has every motive for 
keeping in that important post, as well as in the cor- 
responding post of police prefect, a man of tried Goodbe . 
and approved personal character and administrative b 2jgdb m ' 
efficiency. Thus the existing system, which involves " valr y of 
a certain measure of rivalry between the municipal Paris. 
council on the one hand and the prefect's executive 
organization on the other, does not of necessity dissi- 
pate responsibility. In this particular instance, in- 
deed, it appears to stimulate good behavior on the part 
of both. The council has the more time to consider 
and debate general questions of municipal improve- 
ment, and to scrutinize every phase of the adminis- 
trative government, while the prefect on his part 
must endeavor at once to satisfy the requirements of 
the general government and to maintain a good modus 
vivendi with the municipal council. 

But the most essential factor in the municipal life 
of Paris is not the prefect who wields the executive 
authority, or the municipal council with its power to 
control policies and to pass upon the details of a mi- 
nutely analyzed financial budget. There can be no The civil- 
comprehension, however faint, of the government of 
Paris which does not take into account the superb 
permanent organization of the civil-service machine. 
It is to this tertium quid that one must look if he 
would discover the real unity and continuity of the 
administrative work of the Paris municipality. Pre- 
fects may fiome and go, ministries may change with 




The perma- 
nent admin- 

the seasons, and municipal councils may debate and 
harangue until they make the doings at the Hdtel de 
Ville a byword for futile and noisy discussion. But 
the splendid administrative machine moves steadily 
on. Herein lies the explanation of much that puzzles 
many foreign observers, who cannot understand how 
to reconcile the seemingly perfect system of French 
administration in all matters of practical detail with 
the rapid and capricious changes in the highest ex- 
ecutive posts. 

The administrative machinery of Paris is complex 
but unified. At the head are the offices of the 
two prefects, highly elaborated with divisions and 
bureaus for the oversight of each main department 
of the executive system. Thus there is a department 
of records and accounts methodically and perfectly 
organized; the municipal finances have their expert 
and permanent machinery; the assessment and col- 
lection of taxes, the management of the octrois, all 
come under the control of permanent bureaus. The 
public works of Paris are carried out under the 
supervision of a director of public works (Directeur 
des Travaux de Paris), who is aided by a splendid ser- 
vice of architects and engineers, and whose depart- 
ment is subdivided into various bureaus, and con- 
ducted with all that talent for method and system in 
these matters which the French have shown them- 
selves to possess in so high a degree. Public instruc- 
tion is organized on similar lines of thoroughness 
and permanence. And the same thing may be said of 
all the other departments which belong to the prefect 
of the Seine. The prefect of police has under him, 
in like manner, a system minutely organized from 
top to bottom. 

While the prefect for the time being stands at the 
head of the great administrative structure, it in no 


sense belongs to him. Nor does it belong to the inu- CHAP. i. 
nicipal council ; for councils come and go almost as 
rapidly as prefects and cabinets. It belongs rather 
to the community and the country. This wonderful 
machine, which includes policemen, firemen, school- 
teachers, street-cleaners, bookkeepers, civil engineers, 
architects, and even artists, is altogether out of politics, independent 
France might to-morrow accept the sway of a mili- change" 1 
tary dictator; but this need not involve a single 
change in the personnel of the tens of thousands of 
men who make up the administrative organization of 
Paris, with the bare exception of the two prefects. 
On the other hand, the most extreme of the Parisian 
socialists and communists might have their way, and 
the result would be a single mayor elected by the 
municipal council to replace the two prefects. But 
otherwise there would be no occasion for any changes 
in the administrative machine, except by way of en- 
largement on account of the increased range of direct 
municipal undertakings which would soon follow the 
triumph of the radical contingent. 

As matters now stand, every element in the national 
political life that centers at the capital, and every 
party or group in the municipal council or in the citi- 
zenship of the town, has an equal interest in main- 
taining a perfect administrative system for Paris. 
There may be much strife and contention for the 
privilege of dominating that machine ; but there can 
be no wish in any important quarter that the machine 
should be otherwise than admirable and efficient. It 
must not be forgotten that a similar permanency be- 
longs to the organization of the departments of the 
French general government. Thus, when Parisian 
municipal affairs are referred for decision or for in- 
dorsement to the Minister of the Interior, it is proba- 
bly not the minister himself in nineteen cases out of 




It has some 



But it is 

equal to its 


Initiative in 

the public 


twenty who passes upon them, but the permanent 
bureau officials to which such appeals are always re- 
ferred, and who have had vast experience in dealing 
with them. 

The administrative organization of Paris cannot, of 
course, be wholly free from the faults that pertain 
everywhere to such systems. Bureaucratic methods, 
supernumerary officials, mechanical and perfunctory 
service, insidious abuses here, petty favoritisms there, 
all mar the ideal perfection of the structure. But 
when this is said, it remains true that the execution 
of the varied municipal business of the French me- 
tropolis is in the hands of a marvelously well-trained 
and faithful body of public servants, through whom 
the general government by its prefect on the one 
hand, and the municipal council on the other, can 
carry out most satisfactorily whatever lines of policy 
may be determined upon. If the water supply is to be 
extended, if public buildings are to be erected, if new 
bridges are to be constructed, if a new boulevard is 
authorized, it matters not whether the public work 
be ordered and paid for by the general government, 
by the municipal council, or by contributions from 
both treasuries, in any case the execution of the 
project is committed to the prefect, who in turn assigns 
it to the director of public works, at whose command 
is a highly specialized working organization, equal 
to make the highest American comparison to the 
engineer corps of the war department, or to the con- 
struction bureau of the naval department. 

Nor must it be understood for a moment that this 
tertium quid, this permanent administrative organi- 
zation, is merely passive and obedient. As a practi- 
cal matter of fact, it is full of men of genius and en- 
thusiasm, zealous for the advancement of Paris along 
the lines of their own special departments of admin- 


istration. These men have abundant opportunity to CHAP. i. 
present their views to the prefect and, in one way or 
in another, to the municipal council. Thus, for ex- 
ample, if one should propose to assign individual 
credit for the modern transformation of Paris, it 
would be as necessary to recognize the immense value 
of the labors of the late director of public works, M. The directop 
Alphand, for the period since the Franco-German war ^g 1 ^ 
as to recognize the influence and energy of Baron instance. 
Haussmann as prefect of the Seine in the preced- 
ing period. I have already spoken of M. Alphand's 
career as director of public works for some twenty 
years. He filled that post with a supreme devo- 
tion and ability, and with untiring solicitude for 
the adornment of Paris, the perfection of its public 
services, and the honesty and good quality of its en- 
gineering and architectural constructions, whether 
below the street surface or above. And what has 
been said of the high credit due to this distinguished 
public servant might also be said of men who have 
occupied themselves with the development of the 
magnificent school facilities of Paris, or with other 
departments of municipal life. 

The popular educational system of Paris, with its 
almost unrivaled adaptation to the demands of real life, 

furnishes a constant stream of suitable applicants for service! 
places in the lower grades of the various municipal 
and civil services. All admissions are based upon ap- 
propriate and impartial examinations. Promotions 
are made upon approved principles from within the 
ranks. The system is not so mechanical as to pre- 
clude the recognition of special talent, but it affords 
scant opportunity for injustice or favoritism. The 
higher grades and branches of the public service draw 
upon the splendid series of municipal and national 
technical and professional schools, which train men 


CHAP. i. f or every special department of municipal activity. 
Removals from the service are not made upon arbi- 
trary grounds. Political considerations have nothing 
to do with municipal employment. Faithful continu- 

Retirement . . ^ . ,,,,. , , , 

pensions ance m the service is rewarded ultimately by retire- 
throughout .. . ml . . ,. , 
the system, ment on life pensions. There is every incentive to 

fidelity. The red tape and circumlocutions of so elabo- 
rate an administrative system are only minor objec- 
tions. Where the work to be performed is so enormous 
in its dimensions, and so varied in its details, no sys- 
tem less firmly coordinated, and less perfectly elabo- 
rated, could in the long run produce efficient results. 
The twenty arrondissemen ts of Paris are not bounded 
by temporary lines, nor are they mere electoral divi- 
sions like American city wards, or units of represen- 
tation like our congressional and legislative districts. 
They are not subject to rearrangement in order to 
of e tf Srcon 3 - equalize their population. Some are much more pop- 
ulous than others, and the municipal council, there- 
fore, with its four members from each arrondissement, 
does not represent the population with mathematical 
equality. But it will be found by far more convenient 
to assign additional members to the more populous 
arrondissements than to recast the lines in order to 
create districts of equal population. The arrondisse- 
ments are designated by numbers from one up to 
twenty 5 but they are also named, and the names are 
suggestive of much neighborhood history and local 
tradition. 1 Inasmuch as the centralizing administra- 

1 The twenty arrondissements of Paris bear the following 
designations : 

I. Louvre. VIII. filysfce. XIV. Observatoire. 

II, Bourse. IX. Opera. XV. Vaugirard. 

III. Temple. X. Enclos Saint- XVL Passy. 

IV. H6tel-de-Ville. Laurent. XVII. Battgnolles. 

V. Pantheon. XL Popincourt. XVIII. Butte-Montmartre. 
VI. Luxembourg. XII. Reuilly. XIX. Buttes-Chaumonk 

VII. Palais-Bourbon. XIII. Gobelins. XX. M6nilmontant. 


tive tendency is so exceedingly strong in Paris, it is CHAP. i. 
highly fortunate in every-day practice that the twenty 
arrondisements should have gained each its own sense 
of permanent neighborhood identity. It is true that 
the people of the arrondissement have no local elective 
body. Nevertheless, there is a neighborhood life that Nc . hbor 
centers in the commodious mairie building of each ar- hood life 
rondissement. These twenty divisions make it easy 

to distribute and apportion the numerous administra- 
tive tasks that bring the government into contact with 
the people. Thus the arrondissement becomes the 
ready and natural unit for the administration of the 
school system. Moreover, instead of dealing with the 
central authorities of the prefecture at the H6tel de 
Ville, the people have only to go to the familiar mai- 4 

rie of their own arrondissement to report births and am>miisse- 

i 11 i i T iiient brings 

deaths, and to conform with all the rules and regu- government 
lations touching the record of vital statistics. It is "people. 
here, as I have already remarked, that the civil cere- 
mony of marriage is performed by the maire of the 
arrondissement. Here the registration of voters is 
made and kept, election arrangements are made, 
and jury lists are selected. It is here, also, that the 
youths of the arrondissement are registered for pur- 
poses of military obligation. Prom the mairie of 
the arrondissement proceed the assessment and col- 
lection of all taxes. For minor licenses and privi- 
leges it is sufficient to make application at one's own 
mairie. Through this agency the wonderful popular 
loans of the municipality and of the state reach the 
small investors of Paris. The mairies form ideal li- The maincs 
brary centers, and they contain the reading-rooms and centers. 
the branch reference and circulating libraries of the 
municipality. Obviously, the arrondissement forms 
the local center for all work of public relief and charity. 
It will be found to contain its local branches of the 


Influence of 

the mairie 


CHAP. i. municipal savings-bank system, and also its branch of 
the mont-de-pttU the great municipal loan agency, 
or pawnbroking shop. 

Thus the arrondissement of Paris is the local ad- 
ministrative unit. It is the institutions thus cen- 
tered in the twenty districts that come into contact 
with the daily life of the people. The maire and 
his three adjuncts are appointees of the central pre- 
fecture, and are regarded as the prefect's local agents. 
But they are not capriciously removed or shifted 
about, and they grow into the exercise of a very 
strong neighborhood influence and authority, with 
every motive for faithfulness to the welfare of the 
people with whose affairs, from the cradle to the 
grave, they are so intimately associated. With no 
conscious interchange of ideas or methods, the best 
administrative minds of London and Paris have come 
to a similar conclusion touching the principle of what 
I have elsewhere called " sub-municipalities," as local 

London and r ' 

centers for a very large part of the practical govern- 
ing business of a great metropolis. In London it 
is now proposed 1 to give a mayor and an elective 
council to each one of these sub-municipalities, and 
to confer upon them under the control and super- 
vision of a great central council and mayoralty 
a very considerable range of executive work and au- 
thority. The genius of the Paris system is different. 
All discretionary authority and all deliberative func- 
tions belong to the government of the metropolis as 
a whole. But the carrying out of as large an amount 
as possible of the executive work is assigned to the 
agencies or bureaus which the central authorities 
have established in each one of the sub-municipali- 

1 See report of Royal Commission on London Unification, as 
discussed in my volume on "Municipal Government in Great 
Britain," pp. 257-62. See also Appendix III of same volume. 

The " sub- 



ties. The title of maire, conferred upon the chief CHAP. i. 
functionary at the mairie building of every arron- 
dissement, is well calculated to emphasize the dignity 
and permanence of the neighborhood regime, and the 
lasting identity of the arrondissement's territorial 

Upon no Parisian topic does the foreign questioner , 
encounter opinions more diametrically opposed to 
each other than upon that of tEe police administra- The police - 
tion. In the scheme of Lacroix and his colleagues, 
to which I have made reference as fairly typifying 
the perennial projects of the Parisian radicals, it was 
proposed that the so-called odious prefecture of po- 
lice should be abolished altogether, and that the 
police authority should be invested in the mayor and 
municipal council in accordance with the Parisian 
constitution of 1790, as also briefly revived in 1848. 
The prefecture of police for the department of the 
Seine has been described as the masterpiece of Bona- 
parte's administrative system. It was reconstituted 
in 1853 by Louis Napoleon as an indispensable part 
of his centralized government ; and the third repub- 
lie which clung tenaciously to the principle of cen- 
tralized administration, although willing to grant 
much to localities on the side of elective councils 
retained the police prefect for the metropolis and its 
environing department of the Seine, continuing to 
employ him as the direct agent of the general 

The functions of this police prefect are varied and 
extensive. He controls not only the ordinary police 
that patrol the streets and keep order, but also the Functions of 
detectives and officers who constitute the "police department. 
judiciaire," and who work up criminal cases. Be- 
sides these, he is master of the political police, 


CHAP. i. the government's secret agents, and he has in his 
hand a secret-service fund to spend unaccountably 
except as regards his immediate superior, the Minister 
of the Interior. His department covers the main- 
tenance of order everywhere in streets and public 
places, the punishment of misdemeanors, the inspec- 
tion of weights and measures, the organization of 
important life-saving and sanitary services, authority 

Acensor to permit or to forbid public spectacles, licenses of 

with vast ^ , _ ^ .f ' 

authority, numerous sorts, such as omnibuses and cabs and 
river steamers, the regulation of certain trades 
and callings, and, in general, the control of a num- 
ber of services that affect the security of life and 
property, the public health, and the convenience of 
a great community. It belongs to his functions to 
know who comes and goes, what persons are regis- 
tered in the hotels and boarding-houses, what meet- 
ings are held, what public utterances are made, what 
things are said in print. In Paris, naturally, every 
form of offense against the laws, from anarchist plots 
to common swindling, finds its center so far as France 
is concerned. And the whole tendency of the century 
has been to strengthen rather than to weaken the 
concentrated authority of the police prefect at Paris, 
for the prevention and detection of crime, and to 
hold in check the elements of social disorder. 

The municipal autonomists have been accustomed 
to declare that the police prefect is at once the most 
unadbountable and the most powerful man in Prance. 
prefect as They make the charge that in all this varied array of 
iiis critic! business he has practically to please nobody besides 
himself. They place much emphasis upon the fact 
that when his annual budget which is distinct from 
the budget of his colleague the prefect of the Seine 
goes to the municipal council, the law makes it obli- 
gatory upon that body to allow it in sum total, ap- 


propriating the funds demanded without subtraction CHAP. i. 
at any point. They assert, moreover, that he is in 
fact held accountable nowhere for the expenditure of 
the vast sum that he draws from the municipal trea- 
sury every year. To continue the argument in the 
vein of these opponents of the police prefect, his 
function is declared to be one of darkness and mys- 
tery, a fit creation of such rulers as the Napoleons, 
but with no proper place in a republican form of 
government. Engaged as he must be in the secret 
service of politics, promoting the aims and ends of 
the men who for the day hold the reins of national 
power, he is not the suitable person, we are told, to 
administer the ordinary police government of a city. 
This controverted subject has, however, another 
and a very different mode of approach. According 
to the French theory, the police power of the state is 
divisible only for purposes of administrative conven- w French 

J , . theory of po- 

ience. The prefects of the eighty-seven departments HCC power. 
of France are the direct, appointed agents of the cen- 
tral government ; and each is in exercise of a general 
police supervision over his region. The departments 
are divided into arrondissements, in each of which a 
sub-prefect is stationed, who in turn exercises a more 
minute supervision over the police affairs of his smaller 
territory. The primary divisions are the communes 
and municipalities ; and in them it is true that the 
ordinary police authority has been committed to the 
mayor and municipal officers. But every French 
mayor is regarded as at once an agent of the state 
and the chief executive officer of his town. It is in 
his capacity as an agent of the state that he exercises 
police authority. Now, returning to Paris, the friends 
of the present system would explain that even if Paris 
had its own popularly chosen mayor, with police au- 
thority invested in him and his assistants, the French 



CHAP. i. system as a whole would make it necessary that a 
departmental prefect representing the state should 
exercise a large contingent measure of supervisory 
authority over his conduct, particularly as regards 
matters of police. But inasmuch as all the political 
Hca^onsjfor and judicial mechanisms of the French nation find their 
troi at Paris, central embodiment within the compact territorial 
limits of Paris, the national authorities of necessity 
have a paramount interest in the maintenance of a 
trustworthy local police service. So inextricably, it 
is held, are national and local interests blended, and 
so indispensable is the requirement of a perfect under- 
standing and an unbroken harmony between the gen- 
eral machine of national administration and the local 
machine of Parisian administration, that the simplest 
solution lies in the direct, prefectorai government of 
Paris, without the intervention of any such citizens 7 
representative as a mayor. 

The municipal council, it is true, must vote to the 
prefect of police the whole sum that he demands. But 
it is not compelled to act blindly. The prefect brings 
in to the council a very elaborate printed budget, in 
which he sets forth with much detail his itemized 

The police < 

budget, estimates for the coming year, comparing the esti- 
mates with the corresponding items for the year that 
is current. The council is in a position to acquaint 
itself with all that is being done, and is able, in point 
of fact, to secure the enlargement or the modification 
of the prefect's policy at various points. On the other 
hand, the police policies and expenditures are subject 
to the Ministry of the Interior, which is so organized 
that permanent and expert officials are able to hold 
the prefect to a severe accounting. Still further, the 
municipal council, which is compelled to vote the tax- 
payers 7 money for a police establishment that it does 
not control, may always find some solace in the fact 


that the general government pays something for its CHAP. i. 
retention of police authority. The annual subvention police sub 
out of the national treasury toward the police of , vt 

. " * from nation - 

Pans amounts to more than ten million francs a year, ai treasury. 
or in round figures to one third of the entire budget 
of th police prefecture, and to nearly or quite one 
half of the cost of the police service strictly speaking. 
So long as the police system is reasonably efficient, 
the citizens of Paris might well prefer national con- 
trol with the national subvention, rather than the 
more or less empty privilege of municipal control 
with the whole bill payable out of the municipal 

The prejudice against the police prefecture is to a 
large extent traditional. Under arbitrary Napoleonic 

. J * A traditional 

rule it is easy to understand how the police system prejudice. 
could have been used as an instrument of oppression 
and tyranny. Theoretically, it is always susceptible 
to use as a political instrument. But under republi- 
can institutions there exists only to the most limited 
extent either the motive or the opportunity to employ 
the police power for any other than legitimate ends. 
No minister for many years past has held his seat 
firmly enough to attempt any seriously objectionable 
use of the Parisian police system for improper politi- 
cal purposes. The dark and mysterious police power 
which a certain type of French novel has long ex- 
ploited seems to be quite obsolete in Paris. Neither 
the Chamber of Deputies nor the Senate would tol- 
erate the police system as it exists to-day, with its 
obligatory budget, if it were not in fact an orderly 
and efficient system manned from top to bottom by An orderly 

_,. * , . anc * excel- 

officers who have entered the service upon examina- lent service. 
tion for fitness and have! been promoted for merit. 
The ten or twelve thousand officials who are upon the 
pay-rolls of the prefecture of police constitute a body 


CHAP. i. of men organized as methodically as an army. Nothing 
could be much further from the truth than to assume 
that the great power vested in the prefect means any 
looseness or corruption in the ordinary administration 
of the police system. The peace and good order of 
the metropolis are well maintained; the courts of 
justice are ably served by that portion of the police 
system which makes up the police judiciaire ; and the 
special municipal services of inspection and oversight 
committed to the care of the prefect of police are ad- 
mirably conducted. The fact that prefects, though 
accountable to the Minister of the Interior, nominally 
hold their commissions of appointment from the Pres- 
ident of the Republic, tends to give both the prefect 
of the Seine and the prefect of police a higher degree 
of stability in office than the minister himself, who is 
at the mercy of every shifting mood of the Chamber. 
jThe ordinary or municipal police service of Paris 
was modeled in 1854 upon the metropolitan police 

The police T _ . x . . x i -n 

force as or- system of London. At that time there were in all 
8ai i854. m Paris only four hundred and fifty policemen assigned 
to patrol work. Three hundred other members of 
the municipal service had special duties to perform. 
The city was kept in hand by military rather than 
police control. Small garrisons of soldiers were dis- 
tributed everywhere throughout the metropolis. The 
Emperor wisely determined to remove most of these 
objectionable squads of soldiery, and to create a po- 
lice force similar to that of London. The number 
of ordinary policemen then called sergents de ville, 
and afterward, as now, entitled gar dims de lapaix 
was at once multiplied to nearly three thousand. 
Under the police prefect was appointed a chief of 
the municipal police service, and under this chief 
were head officers for each arrondissement. A central 
post or police station was established in each arron- 



dissement, and a sub-station in each quarter. The 
police force for every arrondissement was divided 
into three brigades, and each of these was further 
subdivided into four sections corresponding to the 
four quarters of the arrondissement. The three bri- 
gades were arranged upon the principle of an aver- 
age active service of eight hours a day for each bri- 
gade and for each individual policeman. Each quar- 
ter was further subdivided into Hots, or beats, and it 
was a part of the plan to assign the same policeman 
always to the same beat, in order that he might know 
thoroughly his little circumscription. At night two 
policemen were to make their rounds in company, 
and thus to guard two adjoining ilots. From time 
to time the number of patrolmen was increased. On 
the extension of the municipal limits in 1860, the po- 
lice force was fixed at 4616 active men. The number 
became 5768 in 1867. After the war, in 1871, the 
military regime was promptly abandoned in favor of 
a reorganized police force of 7756 men, which is now 
nearer 9000. There has been no material alteration 
in the practical workings of the system. Its recogni- 
tion of the distinct and permanent character of the 
arrondissemcnts and of the quarters as local divi- 
sions adds much to its value to the citizens on the 
one hand and to the higher authorities on the other. 
The honesty and faithfulness of these policemen are 
matters of common testimony. The discipline of the 
service is strict and the duties are arduous, while the 
pay is exceedingly modest. Nevertheless, there are 
thirty or forty candidates for every vacancy; and 
the places are filled with young men who must be 
at least twenty-one years old while not more than 
thirty, and who must pass thorough examinations to 
test their physical, intellectual, and moral fitness. 
Once admitted on probation, the novitiate is sub- 



strength of 
the force. 

Discipline of 
new men. 


CHAP. L jected to severe training for a number of months be- 
fore he is allowed to appear alone in uniform as a 
gardien de la paix. In this period of tutelage he has 
been obliged to master thoroughly the laws, rules, 
and regulations that affect his duties: and his dis- 

Tli 6 period 

of tutelage, cipline includes military drill, gymnastic exercises, 
and whatsoever else is thought likely to make him a 
more valuable public servant. He is taught fidelity 
to duty, and is warned that to take the smallest bribe 
or gift may cost him his place and deprive him of his 
prospect of a pension. After twenty-five years of 
service, he may retire upon a pension that will suffice 
to keep him in decency for the rest of his life. 

Such a police system as I have thus described is 
familiar enough, as regards its modus operand^ to 
the denizens of all large English-speaking communi- 
ties. I am inclined to believe, however, that the 
Parisian organization identifies the individual police- 

e beat." 1S man more permanently and closely with a particular 
neighborhood than is customary in any American 
city, and that there is some advantage in this fact 
so long as the gardien de la paix is indeed upright 
and faithful, terrorizing evil-doers, befriending the 
unfortunate and helpless, and fulfilling in all re- 
spects the mission which his title implies. 

But there belongs to the police service of Paris 
another localized institution which is at once peculiar 
and highly interesting. I refer to what is known as 

The police the commissariat. In every quarter of Paris there is 
C sary. ls established a functionary known as the police com- 
missary. He is a man of legal education as well as 
of experience in police affairs. He exercises an au- 
thority which would suggest, to an American or an 
Englishman, now a justice of the peace, now a police 
judge, now a coroner, now a sheriff, now a truant 
officer, and now a censor of public morals. The com- 


missary's office is said to be a survival from very CHAP.I. 
ancient times, when his lineal antecedent was chosen 
!/ the people of each parish as an arbiter in neigh- once a 
borhood affairs, and a dispenser of ready justice in 
cases of petty offense. He is now an appointee of 
the government, and practically, if not nominally, a 
creature of the police prefect. Nevertheless, he has 
the presumption of stable tenure, and is appointed 
after competitive examinations which are intended to 
make certain his fitness for the peculiarly discretion- 
ary business that comes before him. Such is the 
sphere of his tasks that he contributes, perhaps more 
than any other official, to the bringing of government 
and administration home to the people in their very 
neighborhoods. When an arrest is made by a police- 
man he must proceed at once with his prisoner to the 
nearest commissary. The routine work of the com- 
missary's office is in charge of a secretary, who must 
be an intelligent and experienced man, and who is 
himself in the line of promotion. He is further as- 
sisted by several inspectors, who are ready men equal 
to clerical office duties, and also capable of such out- 

, . . ; , . , 

Slde work as serving papers or otherwise represent- 

,, . , . , , . T , , , , , , between the 

ing their chief, the commissary. It should be under- police and 
stood that the commissary is not a judge in the true cwwtT 
sense, and that his function in cases of crime or mis- 
demeanor is a preliminary one. He makes inquiries, 
commits to a place of detention, and makes prompt 
and full report to the central offices of the police pre- 
fecture. The patrolman, through his direct superiors 
at the arrondissement post, also makes his indepen- 
dent report, and the case is thus passed along to the 
criminal courts to be dealt with in accordance with 
the established procedure. It is easy to see that the 
resort to a commissary, which is prompt and impera- Must mo- 
tive, is at once a safeguard to the citizen and a relief 


CHAP. L to the patrolman making an arrest. A commissary 
is always present at every performance in every 
theater. One is always on duty at the Bourse, and 
u fthe 3 several others are specially deputized to serve the 
commissary, public convenience at points where men are wont to 
gather in large numbers. Thus, in case of any dis- 
order or disturbance the policemen on duty may in- 
stantly bring the person accused of an offense before 
a functionary whose capacity is essentially magis- 
terial. If the accused person is to be detained for 
trial, it will be upon the order of the commissary, 
whose business it becomes to prepare the complaint 
for the trial judge. The relief thus afforded to the 
ordinary policeman is obviously of a kind which tends 
to promote rather than to diminish his efficiency. In 
matters of family dispute, and in petty contentions 
of many kinds, the commissary is readily accessible 
for informal services that make him an invaluable 
promoter of the neighborhood well-being, especially 
when he happens to add common sense and kind- 
heartedness to his exercise of authority. 

Besides the local or arrondisseinent service of the 
branches of police, there are a number of central brigades assigned 
p vice? er to duty in special ways to markets, parks, and pub- 
lic buildings, to oversight of cabs and carriages, to 
inspection of lodging-houses, to various inquiries and 
investigations, and finally to detective work. More- 
over, the indoor organization of the various bureaus 
of the central prefecture, with the marvelous system 
of records touching the personal history or the move- 
ments of hundreds of thousands of people, is not to be 
forgotten. As an administrative structure, the police 
system of Paris must arouse the admiration of all who 
study it, whether they approve or not in all respects. 
The so-called Parisian police des m&urs is entirety 
distinct, in its organization and work, from the patrol 
system ; and apart from the maintenance of a state of 


good order and decency on the streets and in public CHAP. i. 
places, the ordinary policeman of Paris is not con- 
perned with those phases of the life of great cities 
which have in American cities so frequently involved 
the corruption of police departments. 

It is interesting to note the differentiation of public 
services and functions, as municipal life attains the 
higher stages of development. Thus, one by one great 
municipal departments have grown out of what were 
originally the mere incidents of police administration. 
One of these incidents was street lighting. What we 
call health administration now one of the most im- 
portant separate departments of city government 
was everywhere at the outset a very subordinate de- 
tail of the police branch. It is not difficult to under- 
stand how the illumination of streets and public places ing <>rigi- 
should have been first undertaken rather to assist the police m'cu. 
police in preventing crime and disorder than to pro- 
mote merely the convenience of the citizens. Under 
this theory, the control of public lighting in Paris re- 
mained in the hands of the prefect of police until 
about the year 1860, when its natural evolution had 
reached such a stage that the police idea had been 
completely outgrown. It was then transferred to the 
general sphere of the prefect of the Seine, and to the 
particular management of the director of public 
works, in whose great systematic department it be- Transferred 

.. a- j a n -a to director 

came coordinated as one of a series or engineering of public 
services. The immense transformations of the Hauss- W WBO. II! 
mann period had fairly begun, and a new era had 
been entered upon for all the services which, like that 
of public lighting, bore relationship in some way to 
the street system. 

Like American cities, and in this respect wholly un- Gas supplied 
like those of England and Germany, French cities 
have been disposed to leave the manufacture and sale 


CHAP. i. of illuminants to private companies. But the resem- 
blance bet ween French and American cities as regards 
their dealings with this important service ends ab- 
ruptly with the simple fact that they have chosen to 
employ private instead of public initiative. Paris in 
its dealing with lighting companies has always fully 
guarded the interests of the municipality and the citi- 
zens. American cities have been slow to learn the 
elementary lesson that there can be no real competi- 
tion between gas companies in the same area, and that 
it is altogether futile to attempt to regulate by com- 
petition a business that is monopolistic in its very na- 
ture. Paris, before 1850, in the experimental period 
of public gas-lighting, had seven or eight different 
gas companies. But each was restricted to its own 
district ; each was chartered upon terms that gave the 
Municipal city authorities large control ; each furnished its quota 

'gas supply, of gas for street lights and public buildings at a price 
fixed by charter contract and approximating actual 
cost of manufacture ; each paid a moderate street rental 
for the privilege of laying pipes under the sidewalks ; 
each accepted a scale of prices for private consumers 
arranged, by agreement with the city, upon the basis 
of reports made by commissions composed of scien- 
tific authorities and experts; each submitted to a 
daily official examination of the quality of its gas and 
to penalties for failure to reach the standard, and each 
laid its pipes in its respective territory under strict 
regulations respecting injury to the pavement and 
disturbance of traffic. All these matters involved 
very much discussion and no small difference of opin- 
ion ; but all were from time to time adjusted in an 
equitable and enlightened way. 

The six companies which for some years had been 
Fusion of engaged in the distribution of gas to Paris were fused 

g ies iTisss! into one great company in 1855. Some of our Amer- 


lean cities have in recent years been well-nigh con- CHAP. i. 
vulsed with excitement and indignation because their 
Ideal gas companies had been consolidated or brought 
under a unitary management. And yet it ought to 
be perfectly obvious that a consolidated gas supply 
can be more economically produced and sold. The 
fusion of the Paris companies in 1855 was effected 
only after several years of negotiations between the 
companies and the government, and it rested upon a 
basis carefully prescribed. The results were highly 
beneficial to all parties concerned. In 1861 a fusion 

* . . Suburban 

was accomplished between the Parisian gas company companies 
and the smaller companies that had supplied the sub- a "isoi. m 
urban districts, Paris having meanwhile annexed the 
outer belt of arrondissements and given the city its 
present area, with the engirdling fortifications as the 
municipal limits. 

In 1870 the charter of the gas company was renewed 
and revised, and was placed upon a basis that still 
exists, and that will hold good until 1910. The con- 
tract might have been studied with great advantage Terms of the 
in this country ; and even now, after the lapse of dec- 
ades, it is a more enlightened and satisfactory ar- 
rangement than any that has been made by large 
American cities. The capitalization of the company 
was fixed at 84,000,000 francs. The quality of the 
gas and the method of testing are prescribed. Pipes 
must be laid each year wherever the public authorities 
determine, and their removal, alteration, replacement, 
etc., are all subject to the order of the authorities, at 
the expense of the gas company. There must be two 
lines of piping along each street that is fourteen me- 
ters or more in width, and along each street that is 
paved with asphalt, no matter how narrow. It is ar- 

ranged that the company shall pay the city 200,000 
francs each year for the right to lay its pipes under the 




shares in 
surplus pro- 



summed up. 

Amount of 
the city's 
from gas 

sidewalks. In lieu of an octroi tax upon the coal con- 
sumed in making gas, the city receives 2 francs for 
each 100 cubic meters of gas consumed in Paris. The 
price of gas per cubic meter to private consumers is 
fixed by agreement, and the price to the city for pub- 
lic purposes is fixed at about half that which private 
consumers pay. The company is allowed, after pay- 
ing fixed charges and placing a certain lawful sum in 
its reserve fund, to devote 11,200,000 francs of net 
profits to paying dividends upon its 84,000,000 francs 
of capital stock. All surplus earnings must be equally 
divided between the company and the municipal 

The financial aspects of this charter can be briefly 
recapitulated. The company must furnish gas to in- 
dividuals at a price not exceeding a fixed maximum. 
It must supply gas for public uses at what is practi- 
cally the cost of manufacture. It must pay the city 
200,000 (ultimately 250,000) francs a year for the right 
to pipe the streets. It must pay a tax of 2 francs per 
100 cubic meters of gas supplied to Paris. Further, 
it must not " water" its stock, but must keep its capi- 
talization at 84,000,000 francs, and after paying 13 
per cent, out of net profits as dividends to the share- 
holders it must divide all remaining profits with the 
city. Finally, at the expiration of the charter, all 
rights revert to the city, which becomes also the 
owner of all the subways, piping, etc., that pertain to 
the plant. 

The city's share in the profits has steadily increased 
until the receipts from the gas company have become a 
large item of revenue. In 1870 about 5,000,000 francs 
were received from the company. For the year 1875 
the amount exceeded 8,000,000 francs. In 1880, 12,- 
400,000 francs were received, and in 1882 more than 
15,000,000. For several years past the annual pay- 


ment of the gas company to the city has been ap- CHAP. i. 
proximately 20,000,000 francs. In comparison with 
^American cities, this large sum is clear profit ; for we 
do not in this country ordinarily obtain any public 
revenue from gas companies. As not less important, 
moreover, it is to be noted that Paris enjoys the 
further advantage of obtaining gas for public lighting 
at rates approximating the lowest actual cost of manu- 
facture. Most American cities would congratulate 
themselves that they had made an extraordinary bar- 
gain if, in return for the privileges they accord to the 
gas companies, they should have the streets and pub- 
lie buildings lighted at cost. But Paris obtains that HC lights 
concession, and 20,000,000 francs a year in addition sup cost. a 
to it. Inasmuch as street lamps and various public 
establishments consume nearly one fifth of the total 
supply of gas in Paris, it is obvious that there is very 
substantial advantage in obtaining the public supply 
at cost. I would suggest that American municipal 
authorities might profitably take to heart the fact that 
in the past ten years the Paris gas company has paid 
into the city treasury 200,000,000 francs, or $40,000,000. 1 
The inspection of gas manufacture, the testing of 
the quality of gas, the supervision of gas-fittings in 
all kinds of buildings, and the management of street Municipal 
and public lighting, belong to one of the bureaus el cE^af in 
of the department of public works, and come under hgh vul. 8Cr ' 
general charge of an engineer-in-chief, who has under 
him a staff of nearly one hundred ordinary engineers 
and assistants. It is needless to say that this, like 
all other bureaus of the executive municipal govern- 
ment, is a model of efficiency. Paris, under its intelli- 

1 Electrical competition, the cheapness of petroleum, and the 
consequent reductions in the price of gas, have since 1892 
caused some falling off in the municipal revenue from this 





The question 

of public 
ownership of 
gas works. 

A social 

rather than 

a financial 

question in 


of electric 

gent operations, became the most beautifully illumined 
of all large cities. Every detail of the service was 
brought under strict regulation, and there is the least 
possible ground for complaint against the gas com- 
pany as a private monopoly. 

The question naturally arises whether the Paris 
plan is a wiser one than that of many great cities 
elsewhere in Europe which have assumed the gas 
manufacture as a public monopoly. Conservative 
Frenchmen decidedly prefer their own system, while 
the French radicals and socialists have begun on 
doctrinaire ground to demand that public ownership 
and operation of gas-works which the English and 
German cities from a wholly different point of view, 
have adopted as a piece of thrifty municipal finan- 
ciering. I am inclined to the opinion that the largest 
possible use of gas, like that of water, is to be obtained 
under a system of public ownership, and that this 
large use is so desirable in a city as to justify direct 
municipal administration. That the poor people of 
Paris could be provided with gas both for light and 
for fuel at a lower rate than they are now obliged to 
pay, if the municipal government were to supersede 
the existing company, seems to me to be indisputable. 
However, the present system is so good that there is 
comparatively little reason to desire a radical change. 

Gas-lighting was first introduced in England, but 
Paris followed in good time and with a splendor un- 
equaled elsewhere. In like manner, America, Ger- 
many, and some other countries have been earlier in 
the use of electric lighting; but the Parisians, with 
their superior taste and skill in all matters of muni- 
cipal arrangements and appointments, seem destined 
to make in the end the most complete and attractive 
use of the new illuminant. In 1878, at the time of 
the universal Exposition, the municipal government 


ordered the experimental illumination of the Avenue CHAP, i. 

de FOpSra and several open spaces with electricity ; 

^at the new system was not ripe for large use, and 

the experiment was soon abandoned. Its principal Effects of 

.v, , competition. 

effect was the stimulus it gave to the gas company, 
which invented and put into use certain large com- 
pound burners using 1400 liters per hour, and giving 
a most brilliant light. The great electrical improve- 
ments of the following decade, chiefly American, were 
exhibited in the French Exposition of 1889, and were 
studied with the utmost care by the Parisian authori- 
ties and municipal engineers. Undoubtedly the dis- 
plays at the Exposition had a most pronounced effect 
in stimulating the new zeal Paris has since shown for 
the appliances of the electric age. 

The manner in which Paris has proceeded to intro- 
duce electricity in every portion of the municipal 
area is of the utmost importance to all other cities 
that have to do with similar problems. There has 
been no undue haste. On the contrary, the subject 
has been treated in a patient, scientific, systematic 
way. To begin with, the municipality spent 2,000,000 

* i- j. i i i 5 i - n The central 

francs or more in making a central electrical installa- installation. 
tion of its own in the basement of " Les Halles Cen- 
trales,"the great central market of Paris. This plant 
is conveniently situated for the illumination of a num- 
ber of public buildings and establishments, and it can 
be enlarged indefinitely. But it has never been in- 
tended to use this or any other municipal installation 
for the general work of lighting the city. It is for 
experimental purposes, and also for the purpose of 
acting as a regulator of charges. It enables the mu 
nicipality to command the situation, and gives it a 
corps of men who understand the practical details of 
an electrical establishment. For the purposes of gen- 
eral illumination the city has been divided into seven 




City divided 
into " scc- 
teurs elec- 

Grants to 
various com- 

of grant. 

xeous po- 
sition of 

1 owteurs electriques." Paris is approximately a circle, 
and the secteurs are segments the dividing lines of 
which radiate from the vicinity of the Halles as a 
center and extend to the circumference. Each of 
these secteurs was granted exclusively, for a short 
term of years, to a responsible electric company. 
Thus, Edison was accorded one, the great Paris con- 
tractor Victor Popp (using the Thomson-Houston 
system) obtained two, and the others were conceded 
respectively to the Messrs. Rothschild, the Societ6 Al- 
sacienne, the Ferranti Company of London, and Naze 
& Co. (representing the Westinghouse system). Sev- 
eral of the secteurs were granted in the latter part 
of 1890, completing the distribution. As one of the 
conditions, it was required that the companies pro- 
ceed at once to make their installations, and that 
within two years their districts should be completely 
served with main cables. Thus, before the end of 
1892 it was expected that such provision would have 
been made that, if desired, every street in Paris, as 
well as every house, could be illumined with elec- 
tricity. It was required that the companies should 
supply street lighting upon terms as favorable as pos- 
sible, at cost or even less, and a maximum rate of 
charge to private users was prescribed. Each com- 
pany was required to give a guaranty fund of several 
hundred thousand francs to insure the fulfilment of 
all the conditions imposed in the concession. No 
payment was required for the charters, the terms 
being short, and permanent arrangements being de- 
ferred until use could be made of the. results of five 
or ten years' experience. Meanwhile the city had its 
own central plant, and was not debarred from laying 
its cables into any or all of the secteurs, with a view 
to regulating prices by competition. Thus, Paris 
seemed to have prepared the way for a more com- 



plete supply of electric-lighting facilities than any 
other large city in the world. The process of trans- 
formation has not been as rapid as was expected, and 
except on the boulevards and a few central avenues 
and squares, the displacement of gas by electricity 
had not in 1895 been very conspicuously accomplished. 
But if the companies have gained some postponement 
of the time limits within which their districts shall be 
completely cabled, the city in its turn has exacted a 
yearly street rental of 200 francs for each kilometer of 
cable, besides imposing the lucrative tax of five per 
cent, on the gross receipts of the companies. 

It should be noted that the question how to dis- 
pose of wires a question that has made so con- 
tinually recurring an agitation in all American cities 
never comes up at all in Paris, and is seldom 
mentioned in any European city. There are abso- 
lutely no obstructive wires in Paris. The govern- 
ment has purchased the telephone as well as the 
telegraph system, and all the wires for these services 
are placed in the subways or sewers. The wires of 
the electric-light companies are buried under the 
sidewalks. Armored cables are laid in simple con- 
duits, or even in the bare soil, without the slightest 
difficulty from any point of view. In crossing streets 
it is forbidden to break the paving, and underground 
connection is made from the manholes of the sewers. 
The whole city of Paris will have been laid with a 
network of electric-lighting cables, and traffic on the 
sidewalks and in the streets will have suffered a 
minimum of obstruction, while no injury whatsoever 
will have been done to pavements. Many of these mi- 
nor questions of practical municipal engineering that 
our American cities too often attack in a fumbling, 
rude, original way, heedless even of the experience 
of near neighbors, while densely and contentedly 


Money pay- 
ments by the 

Wires in sub- 
ways or 

in engineer- 
ing details. 


CHAP. i. ignorant of the experience of foreign cities, have 
been thoroughly solved in Europe. Instead of lead- 
ing the van, America has lagged from ten to fifteen 
years behind Europe in these matters. Even in our 
The testi- own ^ e ^ ^ Metrical methods, as a prominent 
monyofan American electrician once assured me in Paris, we 


electrician, are five years behind the Continent. He declared 
that the difficulties our American corporations still 
complain about when asked to bury their telegraph, 
telephone, and lighting wires, were all met and van- 
quished in Europe several years ago, and that our 
fellow-countrymen insist upon remaining in a state 
of invincible ignorance rather than learn from the 
technical and scientific achievements of Europe. But 
perhaps he stated the case too strongly. Doubtless 
we shall in time come to a realizing sense of the 
fact that the one city of Paris has at its command 
a larger and more brilliant array of engineering and 
architectural talent than all the important cities of 
the United States taken together can show, and that 
many a small European town is better supplied in 
this respect than many a large American city. 

The street system the voie publique keeps its 
place at the very heart and center of Parisian ad- 

The streets ... . . ., -, - .,11 n i i 

as a primary ministration. The French capital has unflinchingly 
C pari8. m accepted the doctrine that smooth and clean high- 
ways are a wise investment from every point of 
view; and that so long as the work is done in a 
thorough and scientific manner, with an honest and 
skilful application of means to ends> the result is 
worth having, regardless of cost. The expense of 
maintaining, cleaning, and sprinkling the streets is 
vastly greater per capita in Paris than in almost any 
other European city; but the sort of preeminence 
that such a street service helps to secure is profitable 
in a hundred indirect ways. 



The service of the voie publique includes street- 
making and paving 5 the care, repair, and mainte- 
nance of the streets and sidewalks ; and the sweeping 
and sprinkling of the streets, together with the re- 
moval of the street sweepings and of domestic gar- 
bage. As a branch of the department of public 
works, this task of street maintenance and cleansing 
is placed in charge of two engineers-in-chief, to each 
of whom ten arrondissements are assigned. The 
twenty arrondissements are further grouped in sec- 
tions comprising two or three arrondissements. In 
the execution of the work, the paving and the clean- 
sing are kept distinct from each other. A large num- 
ber of the national government's engineers from the 
famous corps des ponts et chaussfos are always as- 
signed to the Parisian public works and placed at 
the disposal of the director ; and employed with them 
are many engineers belonging primarily to the mu- 
nicipal service. The cleansing organization is as 
completely manned with these highly trained tech- 
nical experts as is that of paving, lighting, parks, 
water-supply, or sewerage. 

The annual outlay under the general category of 
the voie publique reaches approximately twenty-five 
million francs. For a number of years the national 
treasury has contributed a fixed yearly subsidy of 
four million francs, and the department of the Seine 
has contribiited one tenth of that amount, in accor- 
dance with the theory that the chief thoroughfares of 
Paris are to be considered as the continuation of 
national roads and departmental highways. In the 
original paving of a Parisian street, it is the rule 
to assess most of the cost against the owners of 
abutting property. In the case, however, of a great 
avenue or boulevard having exceptional width, the 
owners of frontage pay only for a strip of perhaps 
ten or twelve meters on either side, and the rest of 


tion of pav- 
ing and 

for Paris 


Paving as- 



used in 
street mak- 

Success of 


the cost is borne by the municipal treasury. Once 
added to the list of paved thoroughfares, a street 
becomes a public charge, and the repair and renewal 
of the paving are undertaken at the expense of the 
whole city. 

A remarkable degree of uniformity and of perfec- 
tion has been attained in the general condition and 
appearance of the pavements of Paris, although a 
variety of materials has been used. The area of 
asphalt surface increases year by year, while care- 
fully cut and evenly placed stone blocks still consti- 
tute by far the largest portion of the paved streets. 
The municipality works its own quarries for a large 
proportion of the paving blocks that it uses, and also 
for the rough stone needed in road- and street-mak- 
ing. When wood paving had been quite generally 
abandoned in American cities as a failure from every 
standpoint, the Parisian engineers had begun to de- 
monstrate the excellences of this American invention, 
with the consequence that the extent of smooth and 
noiseless wood-paved roadways, so much cheaper than 
asphalt and so much safer for horses, has been rapidly 

The success of wood paving in Paris has been due 
in part to a favorable climate, but most of all to the 
fact of thorough and scientific workmanship, after 
careful testing of different woodfc and different meth- 
ods of treatment, chemical and mechanical. Experi- 
ments made until about 1882 were disappointing. 
But an English company at that time offered an im- 
proved process, and agreed to assume, all the risks 
of failure. Accordingly, this company (afterward 
transformed into a Franco-English company with 
headquarters at Paris) obtained concessions for the 
paving of a number of the most important streets, 
including the Avenue des ChainpsJfilysSes, the Rue 



Montmartre, the Rue de Eivoli, the Avenue de PO- 
pera, and the Boulevard Poissonnifere. Under this 
arrangement the company agreed to construct the 
pavements on a proper cement foundation, and to 
keep them in perfect repair for a term of years, re- 
ceiving in payment an annuity of about two and a 
half francs per square meter for the original cost, 
and a further annuity of similar average amount for 
keeping the pavement in good condition through the 
period of the contract. From the opening of 1883 to 
1894 a number of these agreements were made, ap- 
plying to different streets or portions of streets, and 
eighteen years was the contract period for which 
most of the work was taken in hand. In their wise 
protection of public interests, these paving contracts 
furnish a characteristic example of the methods of 
the Paris municipality in its dealings with private 
corporations and concessionaires. Having made its 
investment, the company's reimbursement was to take 
the form of eighteen equal yearly instalments, with 
the certainty of forfeiture of all outstanding sums if 
the paving were not kept in a satisfactory condition 
up to the very end of the eighteen-year term. 

Meanwhile the officials and engineers of the voie 
publique have learned precisely what it costs to lay 
and repair wooden pavements, and how long they 
may be expected to wear in different classes of 
streets. They have accordingly found it advanta- 
geous to construct such pavements without the inter- 
vention of a contracting company. In 1895 Paris 
had perhaps forty miles of wood-paved streets, of 
which about one third were under direct municipal 
management, while two thirds were maintained under 
contracts which will expire in the years from 1901 
to 1905. It should be said that the maintenance of 
the greater part of the asphalt paving of Paris is 


Terms of 
paving con- 


Future pol- 
icy in con- 
struction of 







ized Roads. 

An instance 
of coopera- 

also in the hands of contractors who have assumed 
the risks for a term of years, although the admin- 
istration has now begun to lay its own asphalt, the 
experiment having been satisfactory. Few cities un- 
derstand as well as Paris how to make this advan- 
tageous temporary use of the private entrepreneur. 
As regards both asphalt and wood, it has been clearly 
demonstrated that the engineers of the voie publique 
can keep the pavements in good condition for much 
less money per square meter than is paid to the con- 
tracting companies for maintenance. Consequently, 
there can be no question as to the permanent policy* 

A limited portion perhaps fifteen per cent. of the 
Paris street surface is macadamized. But no other 
portions are more skilfully maintained ; for the mak- 
ing of good roads is one of the notable accomplish- 
ments of the French engineers in the public service, 
and the " metaled " or macadamized roadways of 
Paris are models of their kind. In 1894 they gave 
employment to a regular force of about thirteen hun- 
dred workmen, and to a great number of horses and 
carts engaged in transporting materials. 

There is some indication of thrifty management in 
the fact that the service of macadamized roads, which 
is an extensive keeper of horses, is able to supply 
the street-sweeping service, during several hours each 
day, with the teams required for two or three hun- 
dred sweeping-machines. It is also in position to 
furnish numerous teams for the sprinkling-carts. 
The cleansing service pays the macadamized road 
service an agreed amount per hour for each team, 
and the transaction is obviously economical. It en- 
ables the cleansing department to use a large number 
of teams for a fraction of the day, without obliging 
that service to pay more than a proportional share 
of the cost of the horses and their drivers. 


The macadamized road service manages its own CHAP. i. 
street cleaning, scavenging and sprinkling; but for 
the rest of Paris, including all the paved streets and The cleans- 

,, , , . ,. f. ,, , ingdepart- 

squares, the cleansing work is distinctly organized, ment 
and. has been brought to an efficiency which makes it 
quite as noteworthy as any part of the Parisian mu- 
nicipal housekeeping. From very ancient times it 
was the law that each owner or occupier of property 
should sweep his share of the street. The rules were 
enforced by the police. When the modern street re- History of 

J r street clean- 

forms began in earnest m 1853, new rules were pro- s- 
mulgated requiring thorough daily cleansing of all 
public ways. But the sweeping of squares and of the 
middle strip of broad avenues devolved upon the city 
itself; and as standards became more fastidious the 
public task grew larger. At the time of the extension 
of the municipal limits in 1860 the entire charge of 
street cleansing was transferred from the domain of 
the prefect of police to that of the prefect of the 
Seine, and it was assigned to the engineers of the voie 
publique under the general control of the director 
of public works. Gradually individual owners began 
to adopt the plan of making a money payment and 
allowing the administration to cleanse their portions 
of the street. In 1873 the department found itself Establish . 
actually performing half of the cleansing of Paris, "J^?/.^ 1 } 1 
and it was evident that the best results would be service. 
gained by a uniform municipal service. Accordingly, 
a law was enacted transforming the citizen's old-time 
obligation into a direct money tax. The streets were 
minutely classified according to their character, and 
a schedule of charges was made out, which is subject 
to revision every five years. It is intended to keep 
the tax down to the actual cost of the service. 

In the work of cleansing and watering the streets 
of Paris nearly five thousand persons are constantly 




The street- 



The order 
of the day. 

the streets. 

employed. The number would be much greater but 
for the fact that several hundred sweeping-machines 
do the work that otherwise would require the services 
of at least three thousand additional hand-workers. 
The great triumph of the Paris system is its com- 
plete and simultaneous collection and removal at an 
early hour every morning of all detritus and domestic 
waste throughout the entire metropolis. Between four 
o'clock and half -past six the entire paving of the city, 
including sidewalks, roadways, gutters, open squares, 
alleys and courts, has been swept by machine and 
by hand, and much of it has been scrubbed and dis- 
infected, while many smooth streets also have been 
sprinkled with clean sand to prevent the slipping of 
horses. At half-past six the teams begin to remove 
the heaps of detritus, and also to collect the garbage 
that has been placed on the sidewalk in special re- 
ceptacles in front of every house. By half -past eight 
at the very latest the collection and removal is at an 
end, the empty garbage receptacles have been cleansed 
and disinfected and have disappeared from the side- 
walks, and the main task of the cleansing department 
has been performed for the day. But the army of 
street cleansers organized in perhaps 150 bands of 
twenty or thirty persons, with a sectional atelier, or 
headquarters shop, where each band reports for duty 
is kept steadily at work. Before eleven o'clock the 
gutters have been scrubbed, and much other work in 
detail has been performed, while immediate removal 
of all fresh litter or manure from the pavements is 
required. Meanwhile, except in unseasonable weather, 
the sprinkling of the streets has begun, partly by 
means of wagons, but largely and to a fast increasing 
extent by the use of small stationary devices some- 
what resembling the ordinary lawn or garden sprin- 
kler, thousands of which are attended by the em- 



ployees of the street-cleaning department. In the 
afternoon the sweeping-machines are again at work 
on the more frequented thoroughfares, arid the side- 
walks are again carefully swept by hand in such a 
way as to avoid raising the dust, while the processes 
of scrubbing and sprinkling and flushing and disin- 
fection are unsparingly applied to pavements, gutters, 
and public lavatories. 

The removal of garbage and street sweepings is 
performed by contract. The administration divides 
the work into a number of sections, and thus obtains 
the services of small contractors. The object aimed 
at is the utilization of the farmers and market-gar- 
deners in the immediate vicinity of Paris, who are 
enabled to participate in the contracts. Nothing 
would seem to be more natural than a system by 
which the gardeners who bring supplies to the city 
should remove the garbage and sweepings on their 
return trips to the country, and should use the ma- 
terial for fertilizers. If such a system were hap- 
hazard in its working it could not be tolerated ; but 
under the supervision of the official engineers and 
inspectors of the cleansing department, a remarkable 
state of completeness, uniformity, and methodical 
efficiency has been secured. In view of all the local 
circumstances, it is hardly possible to see how any- 
thing could be gained by an abandonment of the 
contract system. The contract applies only to the 
driver and team, the city itself providing the labor 
that loads the cart, and directly supervising and 
controlling every detail. 

The removal of snow and ice from Paris streets 
is a special service for which elaborate emergency 
rules exist. The police department cooperates with 
the forces of the voie publique, and the householders 
are also under obligations to assist. Temporary 



ment of 

of snow. 


CHAP. i. employees are added to the regular cleansing f orce, 
sometimes to the number of ten thousand or more ; 
and thus at least fifteen thousand men will be en- 
gaged in shoveling and removing snow. In the final 
disposition of snow, much use is made of the huge 
trunk sewers. 

If I have dwelt with some elaboration of detail upon 
the public cleansing work, it has been solely for the 
importance purpose of making plain the exceedingly great im- 
portance that Paris attaches to this branch of ad- 
ministration. I have scarcely hinted at the perfection 
of the utensils, the magnitude of the " plant," and the 
infinite painstaking and trained skill that make the 
technical aspects of the work so creditable and also 
so interesting. Without this ministry of public cleans- 
ing, modern Paris would not be itself. It enters into 
the whole life of the people, rich and poor alike. 

In the great programme of the Napoleon-Hauss- 
water-sup- mann period a new water-supply and a system of 
' sewers were included as highly essential features of 
the modernized Paris. The provision of water for 
public and private use, and the creation of ample 
drainage facilities, were recognized as kindred muni- 
cipal functions, primary and vital, and they were 
united under the charge of a directeur des eaux et 
fyouts (director of waterworks and sewers), his de- 
partment forming one of the bureaus of the general 
department of public works, and having a position 
coordinate with that of the voie publique. The 
history of the Paris Eaux et logouts is a valuable one, 
of which the most instructive chapters are the most 
recent and the least known. It is under the present 
republic, and not under the third empire, that the 
most important results have been attained in the 
perfection of these services. However, the later ac- 



complishments cannot be understood except in their 
relation to earlier plans and achievements. 

Royal and municipal authority for several centu- 
ries had given some concern to the water-supply of 
Paris; and although at the beginning of the nine- 
teenth century the entire amount provided daily did 
not average more than fourteen liters per inhabitant, 
it may be said that the Paris arrangements were in 
advance of those to be found in other European 
cities. The impulse of the great Revolution led, 
however, to the undertaking of the largest water- 
supply project of those times. This was the construc- 
tion of the Canal de POurcq. The little river Ourcq 
is a tributary of the Marne. Its connection with 
Paris by a canal had for centuries been discussed, as 
a means for bringing the capital into navigable com- 
munication with a system of waterways in the north 
and east or France. In the first decade of the nine- 
teenth century it was determined to construct this 
canal for the double purpose of navigation and wa- 
ter-supply. A great reservoir was provided in the 
northeast of Paris (Bassin de la Villette), the work 
was crowded with all possible expedition, and the 
new system was in actual operation at the end of 
1808. It was not on account of sanitary objections 
to the water of the Seine that the Ourcq water was 
introduced by a canal some scores of miles in length, 
for the quality of the Seine water was decidedly pref- 
erable. It was because at that time the modern 
steam-pumping system was in its infancy, and al- 
though two or three steam-pumps had been set at 
work in the years from 1777 to 1782, the venture had 
not been very encouraging. The Ourcq Canal, on 
the other hand, reaches Paris on comparatively high 
ground, and can afford gravity distribution to most 
parts of the city. By extensions and added sources 


of Parisian 

The Ourcq 

The Seine 
and the first 


CHAP. i. of supply, the capacity of the Ourcq Canal was 
largely increased from time to time, and it remained 

Situation in the Chlef SOUrCe f ^PP 1 ? when > ln 1854 > the n6W 

1854. order of things demanded radical measures of relief. 

M. Belgrand, the distinguished engineer who was 

made the master builder of the new underground 

Paris, and who served for many years as head of the 

Beigrand-s eaux et ^g ou *s> laid down in 1854 the principles of a 
new system. new wa ter system, making it harmonize with those 
of a new sewer system, each being the complement 
of the other. The existing water-supply was con- 
demned as by far too small in quantity, and as un- 
suitable in quality. The nature of the surrounding 
country made it difficult to introduce a large supply 
from high sources that would meet requirements as 
to quality. 
M. Belgrand was forced to conclude that for Paris 

v double *^ e P ermanen * solution must be found in a double 

supply, system. The waters of the Ourcq and of the Seine 

could be carried through one system of pipes and 

used for street cleaning, sewer flushing, ornamental 

fountains, and various other public purposes, together 

with certain manufacturing and private purposes, 

while aqueducts from distant springs and mountain- 

R f(Ir e pubi r built reservoirs could furnish a supply for drinking 

"wtSrto? an( * str ictly domestic purposes, to be distributed 

houses, through a distinct ramification of pipes. The plac- 
ing of the two systems of pipes in the sewer tunnels 
would facilitate their management. The great pro- 
jects of broad, new boulevards, public gardens, tree- 
lined avenues, and general municipal renovation, 
would clearly make necessary an unprecedented use 
of water for public purposes. Indeed, it was evident 
that more would be needed for public than for pri- 
vate uses. An average daily supply of about eighty- 
five liters per inhabitant had been attained in 1855, 



and it was desired by Belgrand, Haussmanu, and their CHAP. i. 
imperial chief to bring the amount up to two hun- 
dred liters at the earliest possible moment. To some 
extent the work on the new system could begin at 
once, although for the most part it must await the 
completion of the sewers. 

The plans were approved and the work was entered 
upon. In 1856 Paris had in round figures 1,175,000 j^f^ 8 
inhabitants. To this number there were added 500,- annexation. 
000 in 1860 by the annexation of the suburban belt. 
Belgrand found his problem of water-supply and 
sewers enormously increased by the addition of so 
many people, and particularly by the more than 
doubling of his territory. Moreover, there was a 
private water company to deal with. Consolidation 
of two or three companies had brought the supply 
of the entire suburban belt within the control of 
a "Coinpagnie Genfirale des Eaux," with long-time 
franchises. This company was providing a shock- 
ingly unwholesome and insufficient supply at enor- ^^Jjjjj: 
mous prices to consumers. The amount supplied per system. 
capita was about one third that which had long 
been distributed within the old limits, and the price 
per cubic meter was about three times as high under 
private control in the suburbs as under municipal 
management in the city. It was obvious that the 
annexed districts would have to be placed on an 
equality with the inner arrondissements in regard to 
the supply of water, and the city had somehow to 
dispose of the company. A financial arrangement 
(which I shall explain in a subsequent paragraph) 
gave the public administration complete possession 
and control of the entire system. 

The Seine water was at that time considered far 
more desirable for private uses than the Ourcq; and 
the first step taken for extension of supply was the 




New pump- 

The Dhuis 

The Vannes 

in 1874. 

The system 
in general. 

establishment of large new pumping-stations on the 
river banks, for the service of half the new territory. 
The other half, comprising the four outer arrondisse- 
ments lying on the north and east, could not be 
easily supplied from the Seine. It was accordingly 
decided to furnish the quantity needed for public 
purposes by means of a pumping-station several 
miles distant on the river Marne, and to obtain the 
domestic supply through a long aqueduct to the 
sources of the Dhuis, about 130 kilometers (80 miles) 
east of Paris. The amount derivable from this distant 
source was not very large, but it could be relied upon 
as the final supply of domestic water for a consid- 
erable district of the metropolis. The work was 
completed in 1865. 

Temporary necessities having been met for the 
entire city, M. Belgrand and the administration be- 
gan at once to provide for the future double service 
of the central arrondissements. The valley at the 
sources of the river Vannes, which could yield more 
than one hundred thousand cubic meters per day, 
was secured, and work was begun upon a great aque- 
duct 173 kilometers (107 miles) long. The Vannes 
sources, like those of the Dhuis, lie somewhat south 
of east from Paris. The Vannes aqueduct was not 
finished when war closed the imperial regime; but 
the work was resumed under the republic, and the 
Vannes water reached Paris in 1874. Subsequent 
improvements brought the daily yield of this aque- 
duct up to one hundred and twenty-five thousand 
cubic meters. From 1854 to 1874 there had been 
expended one hundred million francs upon works 
for the introduction and distribution of a Paris 
water-supply. It would be tedious to recount the 
details of reservoirs, pumping-stations, and general 
plant, comprising a distributive system that had 



undergone enormous improvements in the following 
twenty years. The Ourcq, Marne, and Seine had 
continued to furnish the great bulk of the supply, 
the tendency being to withdraw the river water at 
points more remote from contamination, and to give 
more attention to projects of subsidence and filtra- 
tion. In 1892 the rivers were furnishing more than 
three fourths of the six hundred thousand cubic 
meters that were required every day. 

But the plan of an eventually complete domestic 
supply from distant spring sources, as laid down by 
M. Belgrand, had never been abandoned, and in 1886 
definite steps were taken to secure an additional 
quantity of spring water. Another group of sources 
was designated in the east, near Provins, while west- 
ward, at the distance of one hundred and ten kilo- 
meters, was found a favorable spot near Verneuil, 
where the Vigne and the Avre have their origin in 
the hills, and where a system of dams and reservoirs 
could readily secure for Paris an average supply of 
one hundred and twenty thousand cubic meters daily 
of an exceedingly satisfactory drinking-water. Thirty- 
five million francs were set aside as the estimated cost 
of the works, and this great Avre aqueduct was fin- 
ished in 1894, with the result of nearly doubling the 
amount of spring water that comes to Paris for do- 
mestic uses. In due time the new eastern sources 
will have been utilized, and the double system will 
have been carried out in an ideal manner for all 

No other city uses water in so large a proportion 
of the whole supply for street and public purposes, 
and in no other great city would the circumstances so 
clearly point to the double system as an advantageous 
one. With numerous reservoirs, numerous pumping- 
works, and several distinct elements in the main sup- 

CllAP. I. 

More recent 

in 1894 of 
great Avre 

A complex 
but harmo- 
nious sys- 


CHAP. i. ply, the department finds it possible to mix waters, to 
alternate, and to utilize in various ways a distributing 
plant that is remarkably adaptable. There is an en- 
viable simplicity in the magnificent supply of Glas- 
gow, which derives from one lofty and immaculate 
source an unbounded supply of the purest water 
cheaply enough to use it for all public and private 
purposes ; and there is an admirable boldness in the 
new policy of Hamburg, which takes the filthy water 
of the Elbe, with one filtration plant reduces it to a 
purity almost equal to a distilled liquid, and from 
one pumping-station forces it everywhere throughout 
the city. But there is also something very admirable 
in the development of the Paris supply, which has 
adapted means to ends so elaborately, and which, 
with all its complexity, is approaching a very high 
state of engineering and sanitary perfection. In the 
forty years from 1856 to 1896 there will have been 
expended upon waterworks by the Paris municipality 
waterworks, an amount approaching two hundred and fifty million 

The arrangement by which the municipality ob- 
tained control in 1860 of the water-supply of the 
annexed zone was a peculiar one. The Compagnie 
GrenSrale des Eaux made over to the city all its prop- 
erty and rights, and was installed as the city's col- 
A company Iccting agent and intermediary in all dealings with 
Bs agent. l " s private individuals. The company was given a fifty 
years 7 interest in the proceeds of the water business, 
its charter running from January 1, 1861, to January 
1, 1911. The company has nothing to do with the 
fixing of the rentals or price schedules, and no voice, 
however iteeble, in any question having to do with 
the supply. From time to time the municipal author- 
ities readjust the scale of charges, and determine the 
rules and regulations. The company makes house 


connections, and attends to the domestic details. It CHAP. i. 
is allowed a commission of twenty-five per cent, upon 
its collections in excess of three million six hundred 

. . Terms of the 

thousand francs up to six million that is to say, a contract. 
commission of one fourth upon two million four 
hundred thousand francs. Its percentages grow less 
as receipts increase. Upon the seventh, eighth, and 
ninth million francs its commission is twenty per 
cent.; upon the tenth and eleventh millions it is fif- 
teen per cent.; upon the twelfth it is ten, and upon 
all collections in excess of twelve million francs it is 
five per cent. Thus, the receipts from private con- 
sumers having reached, let us say, fourteen million 
francs in 1895, the company's aggregate commission 
would be one million seven hundred thousand francs. 
The company's interests naturally make for vigilance 
in collections 5 and the scale of charges is so ar- 
ranged that the company, though not directly af- 
fected by the cost of supply, is an active opponent of 
waste. The best quality of water has always been 
scarce enough in Paris to inculcate a gaged and 
measured economy in its distribution that has per- 
haps at times sacrificed the social to the commercial 
aspect of a water-supply. But the prices charged to 
the poor are not very high, though they are not so 
low as English and Scotch prices. The lowest annual water-rates. 
water-rate in Paris is twenty francs a year, based 
upon an estimated average consumption of one 
hundred and twenty-five liters a day. In view of 
the conditions under which, in 1860, the company 
was accorded its present functions, it cannot be said 
that its capital of twenty million francs is unduly re- 
munerated at the public expense ; nor do its services 
seem to be otherwise than meritorious and efficient. 
Its collections in gross are paid into the public treasury 
every week, and its commissions are repaid to it at 




fate of the 

Free supply 
for public 

Early drain- 
age system. 

First mod- 
ern sewer 
in 1851. 

stated intervals. It is hardly probable that the city 
will find any sufficient reasons for continuing to em- 
ploy the company after the year 1910. 

It may be added that the company has no concern 
whatever with the system of pipes that distribute 
water for public uses, and that the municipality de- 
rives some income from non-municipal institutions 
which use water for public purposes. The municipal 
revenue that accrues from private users easily pays 
interest and sinking-fund charges upon all that is 
invested in the water-supply system, together with 
all the costs of maintenance and operation, and leaves 
some surplus profit. The chief municipal benefit, 
obviously, lies in the free use of half or more of the 
entire supply for the public service of streets, parks, 
sewers, fire hydrants, and the like. 

A certain type of French fiction has given many 
readers the impression that the famous sewer system 
of Paris possesses considerable antiquity. In point 
of sober fact, very little had been done in the con- 
struction of that system before 1860. Open ditches 
had served all purposes of Paris drainage until 1750, 
when a little stream into which many of these ditches 
had emptied their foul waters was covered over, 
chiefly in order to make more building space. Grad- 
ually it came to be used as a trunk sewer, and a 
number of covered ditches were subsequently drained 
into it. But this was not a modern sewer, and not 
until 1851,^in connection with the making of the Rue 
de Rivoli, was a modern main sewer tunnel built, its 
point of discharge into the Seine being just below 
the bridge at the Place de la Concorde. Meanwhile 
a number' of small street sewers had been conducted 
directly into the river, and the waters and banks 
were becoming most seriously polluted. 

At this time M. Belgrand devised his magnificent 


plans for the drainage and water-supply of the trans- CHAP. i. 
formed Paris, and in 1856 his scheme for a network New system 

A -1,1 11 ,*.. adopted in 

of sewers was adopted, and he was authorized to be- 
gin construction. Several years had elapsed, how- 
ever, before much actual work had been accom- 
plished, and in 1860 the annexation of the suburbs 
gave the task a larger though not a different char- 
acter. The topography of Paris suggested three 
great trunk sewers, or collecteurs (as Belgrand well 
called them), which should have capacity to carry off 
the aggregate outflow of the entire sewerage net- 
work, and which should empty it all into the Seine 
at some distance below the city. One of these collec- 
teurs was designed to intercept the sewers that ap- 
proached the river on the north or right bank, and 
to serve the central parts of Paris. A corresponding 
one, following for some distance the left bank of the 
river, was given such dimensions as to be able to 
receive the flow of the entire ramification of sewers 
south of the Seine. A third collecteur, at a higher 
level, was designed to carry off the rainfall and ordi- 
nary sewage of the more elevated arrondissements of 
the northeast part of the city. 

These three huge trunk sewers, opened by Bel- 
grand, have remained the basis of the system, al- 
though since his time a number of additional secon- 
dary collecteurs of formidable size have been built, 
and the network of street sewers has been doubled 
in extent, while great improvements in the operation 
of the system have been inaugurated. 

The collecteurs are great subterranean galleries of 
arched masonry, shaped like a horseshoe, with a 
diameter of not less than fifteen feet, and in some 

. . . . mi ,. ., Forms and 

cases nearly twenty feet. The sewage ordinarily dimensions. 
flows in a deep gutter at the bottom, with a foot- 
path projecting on either side. This gutter has an 



CHAP. i. average depth in the great mains of four or fnte feet, 
and the footpaths are from twenty inches to two or 
three feet wide. The ordinary street sewers are egg- 
shaped, elliptical conduits, with a vertical diameter of 
about six or seven feet, and with the small end of the 
ellipse at the bottom. As a rule, there is a project- 
ing footpath on one side, at twelve or fifteen inches 
from the bottom. According to the law of 1856, 
when the system was instituted, every street of less 
than twenty meters' width must have one of these 
sewers under the center of the roadway, while every 
street of more than that width must have two, one 
being under each sidewalk. The sewers are of dif- 
ferent sizes and proportions according to the varying 
circumstances, and are classified under fifteen types. 
They have been planned not merely to carry off the 
drainage from streets and houses, but also to serve 
various subway purposes to which I shall refer here- 
after. It was about the year 1881 that the sewer 
system, the development of which had been inter- 
rupted by the war in 1870, was taken in hand 
again with extraordinary energy. In no other way 
can the vast amount of new work be so well appre- 
ciated as by study of a sewer map, showing in one 
color the lines that had been constructed before 1880, 
and in another color those that have since been com- 
pleted. The mileage of well-built conduits seems to 
have increased by at least one hundred per cent., and 
the recent work pertains to every locality in the 

Just before the outbreak of the war of 1870, Paris 
had begun in a small and tentative way the experi- 
ment of sewage disposal by means of irrigation. 
The sewage- The spot chosen was in the plain of Gennevilliers in 
a neviiiiers. n " the great bend of the Seine north of Paris, this re- 
gion being in the general direction of the outfall 

Recent de- 


point' of the collecteurs, and possessing various ad- CHAP. i. 
vantages of soil and topography. The experiment 
grew by degrees until in 1892 there was an area 
of eight hundred hectares (2000 acres) under actual 
irrigation, and thirty million cubic meters of sew- 
age per annum was purified by natural filtration. 
The tests of the laboratory, moreover, showed that 
the affluent passing from the G-ennevilliers drains 
into the river contained scarcely a dozen microbes to 
the cubic centimeter, whereas the pure Vanne drink- 
ing-water contained 62 per cubic centimeter, the purification. 
Seine water at the Bercy pumping- works contained 
1400, and the unpurified sewage itself contained 20,000. 
The Parisians are now thoroughly converted to the 
theory and practice of sewage disposal by meaus of 
land irrigation, and are greatly extending the system 
of sewage-farms. They have obtained from the gen- 
eral government a portion of the St. Germain forest, 
which lies five miles west of the city limits, in one of ageSrm 
the series of immense horseshoe curves which the 
Seine describes after it leaves the heart of Paris. 
The large plans upon which the administration has 
entered have led to the expectation that the close of 
the year 1900 may witness the treatment of the en- 
tire volume of Paris sewage by means of irrigation. 
The Gennevilliers experiment has been brilliantly 
successful from the agricultural point of view, the 
crops having been quadrupled, while the population 
of the neighborhood had nearly doubled in ten years, 
and the community was a model for healthf ulness. 

There remain to be set forth certain changed con- 
ditions which give the problem of sewage disposal 
a new importance. The Paris sewage has hitherto 
held a comparatively small amount of solid matter 
in solution. Its discharge into the Seine has on that 
account been the less objectionable. From times 




The fosse 


immemorial eveiy house in Paris has been provided 
with its fosse, or vault, for the reception of fecal 
material. When Belgrand entered npon the con- 
struction of the new sewer system, he favored the 
adoption, so far as possible, of a direct discharge 
from water-closets into the sewers. But, unfortu- 
nately, not many of the existing sewers had a suffi- 
ciently steep fall, and many difficulties were in the 
way. The fixed pits, or fosses, had at an earlier 
period been a frightful source of danger, disease, 
and death ; but great improvements had been intro- 
duced, both in their construction and in the methods 
of emptying them, which had lessened their evils quite 
The vidan- Appreciably. The vidangeurs, or night-men, who emp- 
tied the cesspools, were licensed and brought under 
the strictest public regulations. The material was 
conveyed in air-tight receptacles, and carried to 
several great depots, where it was converted into an 
inoffensive dry fertilizer. 

Many Parisians contended that this system of 
fosses fixes was more to be desired than the oppos- 
ing system known as that of " tout d Ttyout" (" every- 
thing into the sewer"). But tout 1'egout is the 
system that modern sanitary science elsewhere has 
pronounced best; and Paris has at last decided to 
adopt it. The change has been a gradual one. It 
was ushered in by a system of filtration apparatus 
which drains all liquids into the sewer, leaving only 
solid matter in the fosse, and reducing the bulk of 
the material for the vidangeur to a small fraction. 
From five thousand in 1871 these filters had in- 
creased to thirty-five thousand in 1891. In 1886 it 
was provided that houses connecting with certain 
sewers which were suitably constructed might avail 
themselves of the tout & Pegout system; and in 1891 
about five thousand connections of this kind had 

Old meth- 
ods aban- 


actually been made. In 1892 it was determined to CHAP. i. 

make the modern system obligatory wherever the 

sewers could be adapted to it; and since that j r ear Disappear- 

.- , j -i i T it T anceofcess- 

the transformation has been proceeding rapidly. In pools. 
1871 there were in Paris more than eighty thousand 
cesspools, and in 1896 this number will perhaps have 
been reduced to fifty thousand. 

The flushing of the sewers, in which the ordinary 
flow is too sluggish for the proper scouring away of 
sludgy sediment, is accomplished by the establish- 
ment in connection with them of a system of small 
reservoirs de chasse, so called, which are filled and Reservoirs^ 
discharged automatically at regular intervals, and sewers. 
which emit enough expulsive force to drive every- 
thing in the sewer to a point beyond the next reser- 
voir. Soon after the beginning of this system of 
expulsive reservoirs, as many as fourteen hundred of 
them had been placed in the sewers. Several thou- 
sand will ultimately be needed, and they will draw 
heavily upon the public water-supply. Nothing in 
the recent sanitary administration of Paris is more 
significant than the abandonment of the ancient cess- 
pool system in favor of the best new methods, to- 
gether with the relief of the river Seine through the 
adoption of comprehensive plans of sewage disposal 
by means of irrigation. 

As I have already remarked, the Paris sewers were 
designed with reference to their use as general sub- 
ways. Supported along the walls near the top of the 
gallery one finds not only the water-pipes of the dou- 
ble supply system, but also the telegraph and tele- 
phone wires; the pneumatic tubes which facilitate 
the collection and distribution of letters; the pipes 
of the compressed-air service that furnishes motive 
power for small users, and that maintains a system of 




from wires 
and pipes 
in sewers. 

and conces- 
sions in 
streets and 

pneumatic clocks; and perhaps one or two other 
kinds of pipes or wires. The gas and electric light 
companies are otherwise accommodated under the 
sidewalks, but they are the only exceptions to the rule 
of the use of the sewers as conduits for all the servi- 
ces that require pipes or wires. The telephone system 
of Paris is operated by the national government in 
connection with its department of posies et t&legraphes; 
and while it pays nothing for its placing of telegraph 
wires and pneumatic tubes in the sewers, it pays lib- 
erally for its telephone accommodations. Numer- 
ous private telegraph and telephone wires also pay at 
the same rates (from fifty to thirty francs a year per 
kilometer of line), and the municipal treasury from 
these sources, together with the payments from the 
compressed air company, is in receipt of a revenue 
approaching a million francs. I have already men- 
tioned the payments exacted from the gas and electric 
light companies for their privileges under the streets. 
In nothing is the municipal thrift and close atten- 
tion to financial details better illustrated than in the 
exploitation of small privileges and concessions in the 
streets and in the public parks. One of the distinct 
sources of Parisian revenue aggregating a yearly 
income of 3,500,000 francs is summed up in the offi- 
cial budgets under the chapter heading, "Locations 
sur la voie publique et dans les promenades piibliques" 
In this category are included hundreds of newspaper 
kiosks, refreshment stands, luminous advertising pil- 
lars for theatrical notices, chalets de necessiU (public 
lavatories), and urinals to the number of perhaps two 
thousand, the walls of which are used for advertising 
purposes! In the Champs-filysees, the Bois de Bou- 
logne, the Bois de Vincennes, and various other parks, 
squares, and gardens, there are almost innumerable 
privileges and concessions leased to individuals for 


sums which help to make up the grand total of CHAP. i. 
3,500,000 francs. Nor can it be considered that any 
of this money comes by way of indulgence for the 
permission of nuisances. The newspaper kiosks, ad- AH instance 
vertising pillars, refreshment stands, and other lorn- 
tions concessioners, all contribute towards the conven- 
ience of the people, and they are not permitted to be 
unsightly. The revenue from these sources is almost 
entirely a net income, and it aids materially in the 
cost of maintaining streets and open spaces. 

The parks of Paris are entitled to some special men- 
tion, although for the purposes of the people the 
broad and well-cleaned avenues with their rows of 
shade-trees are to be deemed the most important pro- 
vision for out-of-door life and recreation. On all the as parkway! 
streets having a width of twenty meters or more there 
are rows of shade-trees, and most of the broad thor- 
oughfares have also a middle strip, planted with trees, 
grass, and flowers. Benches are everywhere provided 
under the trees, and thus in some sense the whole city 
may be considered a park. The river and the quays 
form the most valuable of the breathing spaces of 
Paris. There are nearly a hundred thousand trees 
along the chief streets; and this is a great number shade trees 
when account is made of the compactness of the city. avenuSL 

The avenues and boulevards are, indeed, considered 
as a part of the park system, in so far as they are 
planted with trees and provided with gardened strips ; 
and the whole service of "promenades et plantations" 
falls under the supervision of the same engineer-in- 
chief who, as head of a branch of the public works The park ad- 
department, is also in control of street illumination mmistratlon - 
and of concessions on the voie publique and in the 
parks. The grouping of these tasks is a felicitous one. 
The same oversight thus controls (1) the public parks 
and gardens (2) the streets in their aspect as parkways, 


CHAP. i. both streets and parks in (3) all matters of illumination, 
and again in (4) everything that concerns the erection 
of booths or kiosks, or the granting of other privileges 
on the sidewalks or in public squares and gardens. 
Esthetic harmony is thus assured, and much economy 
of administration results. 

Naturally enough, when the transformation of Paris 
was determined upon in 1852, the question of parks 

Boulogne. 6 was not omitted. It was determined to make the Bois 
de Boulogne, lying immediately west of Paris, the 
great pleasure-ground of the new dispensation, and to 
provide grand approaches to it in connection with the 
new boulevard system. The Bois had survived as part 
of an ancient forest owned by the state. But it was 
not improved, nor was it easy of access. In 1852 the 
state granted it to the municipality of Paris on condi- 

Advanta- tion that it should be developed as a modern park with- 

e !'iering? n out delay. Fourteen millions of francs were soon ex- 
pended upon it, the larger part of which was recovered 
by advantageous sales of adjacent building sites. As 
finally adjusted this noble pleasure-ground contains 
873 hectares (about 2250 acres), and as the city's 
suburbs expand it becomes constantly more accessi- 
ble to a large population. 

The opposite end of Paris was similarly recognized 
by the acquisition from the state in 1860 of the Vin- 

fincen!?es. e cennes forest, upon which even greater sums were 
expended. The Bois de Vincennes now contains 943 
hectares (about 2,400 acres), and its conversion to 
its present attractive character involved an outlay in 
the years 1860-66 of nearly 24,000,000 francs. The 
original grant was larger, but by permission of the 
state the municipality sold 125 hectares to private 
builders for about 13,000,000 francs, and thus mate- 
rially reduced the cost to the Parisian taxpayers of a 
park that is now worth many scores of millions. 


Within the city limits the parks were few iu earlier CHAP. i. 
times, although the people had some access to several 
old royal pleasure-grounds, chiefly the gardens of the 

T i 0.1 ni -i a xi. /MI *i > Other Paris- 

Luxemburg, the Tuileries and the Champs Elysees. ian parks. 
There are now nearly a hundred squares, parks and 
gardens open to the people, most of which are muni- 
cipal property, though a few belong to the state. 
The largest and most picturesque of these is the Pare 
des Buttes-Chaumoiit in the northeast of Paris, with 
an extent of 62 acres, which was completed among 
the last great works of the Haussmann period and 
opened in 1869. The Pare de Montsouris in the south 
of Paris, which contains perhaps 45 acres, was opened 
somewhat earlier. The later endeavors of the admin- small parks 
istration have been directed toward the multiplication ground?." 
of small parks and playgrounds in the poorest and 
densest quarters of the city ; and since the beginning 
of the third republic there has been no endeavor to 
add to the number of large parks. The operations 
of the municipality as florist and gardener are neces- 
sarily 011 a vast scale ; and one is tempted to dwell 
upou the great establishments in the Bois de Boulogne, 
where the nurseries and green houses are concentrated^ 
and where youths from all lands are sent to learn 
floriculture from the accomplished gardeners and bo- 
tanical experts in the service of the Parisian " prome- 
nades et plantations." 

The use of the voie publique of Paris for purposes 
of transit by means of street railways and otherwise 
is a topic of increasing interest, and one that is so Transitand 
closely related to that of the housing system and of housing. 
the territorial distribution of the inhabitants that 
both may well be considered together. Paris in the 
past centuries has grown by concentric accretions, 
military defenses having determined from time to 







of area. 

Paris under 

the iiour- 


The fortifi- 
ations, and 
the exteu- 
ion of 18(50. 

time the municipal metes and bound?. As in many 
another European city, the encircling boulevards re- 
veal historic lines of bastioned wall and moat, aban- 
doned in favor of a new, outer cincture. Any boldly 
outlined street map of Paris shows readily, by the 
division lines of the arrondissements, the more impor- 
tant successive perimeters. Originally beginning with 
the " He de la Cite " in the Seine, which still lies at 
the heart of the metropolis, Paris became in 1180, 
under Philip II. Augustus, a round, walled city on both 
banks of the river, with an area of 252 hectares (a 
hectare is 2.4711 acres). In 1370 Charles V. built a 
new wall on the north side, and this was further ex- 
tended on the west, some three hundred years later, 
so that the city then included 567 hectares. Louis 
XIV. and Louis XV. made considerable annexations, 
but it remained for the government of Louis XVI. 
in the years 1784-91 to fix a new line enclosing the 
more generous space of 3370 hectares ; and this re- 
mained the limit of the Paris municipality until 1860. 
The Paris of the Bourbons was nearly round, and 
was almost equally divided by the river one way and 
by the Boulevards St. Michel and de Sebastopol at 
right angles with the river, being encircled by what is 
now known as the inner line of Boulevards, with the 
Bastile at the extreme east, the Madeleine, Place de la 
Concorde, and Hotel des Invalides at the extreme 
west, and the Mont Parriasse and Port-Royal Boule- 
vards marking the southern curve. Louis XVI.'s 
great annexation included chiefly the districts lying 
on the north side of the river between the inner and 
outer lines of boulevards, an accretion veiy distinctly 
indicated on the map. This area remained without 
change until January 1, 1860. The government had 
constructed after 1841 the present girdle of fortifica- 
tions, and it was inevitable that this should sooner or 



later become the boundary line of the city. The new 
limits were established by the law of 1859. At that 
time the existing limits of the arrondissements were 
fixed, the old area being divided into what are known 
as the ten inner arrondissements, and the annexed 
districts, or "faubourgs/' with adjacent parts of the 
inner city, into the ten outer arrondissements, each 
one being given a name and a number. At the same 
time each arroiidissement was divided into four quar- 
ters, each of which was named. 

The Paris of 1790 contained a population of 600,000, 
the area now comprised in the outer ten arrondisse- 
ments being rural, with only ten or fifteen thousand 
people. At the time of the annexation in 1860, as 
shown by the census of 1861, the inner ten divisions 
had more than 900,000 people, and the outer ten more 
than 700,000, a total exceeding 1,600,000. It is ex- 
tremely interesting to follow the subsequent develop- 
ment of population. The inner ten divisions actually 
lost more than 30,000 people in the decade from 1861 
to 1871, a period in which great demolitions and 
street improvements were made; and in the same de- 
cade the outer ten divisions gained more than 200,000 
people. From 1871 to 1881 the inner ten gained 
116,000, while the outer ten gained 300,000. From 
1881 to 1886 the inner ten lost 18,000 and the outer 
ten gained 94,000. The net result of the twenty-five 
years from 1861 to 1886 was a gain of 64,845 for the 
inner ten arrondissements and of 611,850 for the outer 
ten, the one half having 1,010,970 people, and the 
other 1,330,580, a grand total of 2,344,550. By the 
census of 1891, the total population was 2,447,957 a 
gain in five years of 103,407, practically all of which 
must be credited to the outer ten. 

Obviously the inner divisions have reached their 
maximum inhabitancy. What we may call the old 



Growth of 


in the old 


Rise of the 
outer zone. 




Progress of 
the new 

The actual 

defenses of 


Area of the 
of the Seine. 

Paris has for fifty years had a population, averaging 
about 1,000,000; and there have been added 1,500,000 
more people, occupying the belt of arrondissements 
inside the fortifications, the Paris of to-day having 
more than 2,500,000 inhabitants. 

Meanwhile the suburban population outside the 
fortifications has been growing rapidly. The little 
communes of the department of the Seine, outside of 
Paris, are grouped in the two arrondissements of Saint 
Denis and Sceaux. Altogether this exterior belt had 
a population of about 255,000 in 1861, which had 
grown to more than 600,000 in 1886, was nearly 700,- 
000 in 1891, and will within a few years have reached 
a full million. 

It only remains to tear away the line of fortifica- 
tions, and to fill up the great ditch, in order to permit 
the city to expand freely under the impetus of the 
modern suburban tendency. The real military defen- 
ses of Paris now take the form of two lines of en- 
trenched camps and forts, one of which is at an 
average distance of three or four miles outside the 
wall of cincture that forms the city limits, while the 
other and more formidable one is yet several miles 
further distant. The existing Paris covers 19,275 
acres, orab out thirty square miles, within which are 
housed more than 2,500,000 people. The average dis- 
tance from center to circumference is only three miles. 
The department of the Seine, at the center of which 
Paris lies, contains nearly 184 square miles, including 
Paris, and its outer edges lie at an average distance 
of only seven or eight miles from the center of the 
metropolis, or from four to five miles beyond the ex- 
isting city limits. Inasmuch as the whole department 
is already under the administrative direction of the 
two prefects who administer Paris, while the council- 
general of the department consists of the Paris 


municipal council with the addition of a handful of 
men from the two extra-mural arrondissements, noth- 
ing would seem easier than a complete assimilation of 
the government system. And since the cincture de- 
fenses are obsolete for military purposes, every sound 
argument demands their removal, to be followed by 
annexation of the whole suburban belt to the munici- 
pality. Such a project is under consideration, and its 
accomplishment is only a question of time. The line 
of fortifications will afford a magnificent opportunity 
for effective boulevards and public gardens, while also 
permitting the sale of several hundred million francs' 
worth of building sites. This improvement, accom- 
panied as it would inevitably be by a development of 
improved transit systems and the rapid up-building of 
the suburbs, will quite probably be decided upon by 
the state and the municipality as the closing and 
crowning event of the century in the history of the 
grands travaux de Paris. 

The metropolitan London houses a population of 
4,230,000 (census of 1891) within an area of 123 square 
miles an average of 34,400 to the square mile, while 
within the 30 square miles of Paris there are 2,500,- 
000 people, or 83,300 to the square mile. This is a 
high degree of density, although it does not follow 
that the people of London, living in houses of two or 
three stories, with an average of eight persons per 
house, are better housed or less crowded than the 
Parisians who occupy large tenement houses of four 
or five stories, with an average of 30 persons to the 
house. In Manhattan Island (New York City), accord- 
ing to the census of 1890, the density per square mile 
was 73,300. But for several of the most crowded 
wards of New York the density averaged more than 
300,000 per square mile, which is far in excess of any- 
thing to be found in corresponding areas of Paris or 


Reasons for 
tion of de- 
and city. 

An oppor- 
tunity for 

Parisian den- 
sity com- 
pared with 

with that of 
New York. 





Density in 
the heart of 
and Boston. 

Relation of 

density to 


New impor- 
tance of 
transit in 

London, where there is a comparatively even distri- 
bution throughout the municipal area. Brooklyn in 
1890, in a municipal territory of 26 square miles, 
(somewhat less than that of Paris) accommodated 
806,000 people, or about 30,500 to the square mile. 
Chicago, with 160 square miles and a population in 
1890 of 1,100,000, could boast an average of only 6850 
to the square mile. But Chicago's central wards have 
nearly ten times that density, and may be regarded as 
accommodating from 60,000 to 75,000 people per square 
mile, while Philadelphia and Boston, as well as Brook- 
lyn, are housing in their densest districts a population 
that averages 100,000 to the square mile. The re- 
markable fact about the Parisian density is its high 
average for the entire city, in which regard it has no 
equal. It is a marvelously compact system of hous- 
ing that provides for 2,500,000 people within a circle 
whose radius is only three miles. 

All these considerations bear vitally upon the ques- 
tion of transit. The people of inner Paris have not, 
as a rule, far to be transported from their work. Very 
many of them live on the Stages above their shops 
and business places. Instead of taking street cars or 
omnibuses to go home, they simply walk up-stairs ; 
and similar statements might be made for the major 
part of the population of the outer arrondissements. 
Every quarter of the city is at once a business quarter 
and a residence quarter. Nevertheless, as the city 
grows in its outer districts, and as population rapidly 
increases in the suburbs beyond the gates, there is an 
enhanced regular daily movement to and from the 
central arrondissements where the principal business 
operations are massed. Thus the transit question 
assumes constantly increasing importance in Paris, as 
in the other large cities of the world. 

There are two kinds of municipal transit that must 


be recognized, just as there are two kinds of streets CHAP. i. 
in the great European cities. These cities have (1) 
their network of minor streets, and (2) their system 
of great thoroughfares and boulevards pertaining to 
the metropolis as a whole. Analogously, they have 
their systems of strictly local street transit, by cabs, 
street railways, and omnibuses, and their more rapid 
system of what may be called metropolitan transit. 
It is this latter system that great cities are most ear- tan\ystems 
iiestly discussing in the closing years of the century. t^X ger 
In London it takes the form of the underground rail- 
ways and of innumerable suburban trains on all the 
great railway lines. In New York and Brooklyn it 
has its beginning in the elevated railway system, and 
is to have great extensions in the early future, in part 
by means of underground electric roads. In several 
American cities the surface lines of cable and electric 
street railways are made to answer temporarily the 
double purpose of local and metropolitan lines. But 
Paris, thus far, has developed no metropolitan system Yc t to bo 
at all except the belt line, the Chemin de Fer de d ?or ttf e ed 
Ceinture. The density of its population and the Parisians - 
prevalence of high houses, as I have shown, sufficiently 
explain the tardiness of this great capital in such 
matters. The local systems of transit, by cabs, omni- 
buses, and tram-cars, have had a steady development 
in Paris, however, and for a number of years the 
public authorities and skilled engineers have been 
anticipating the necessity of a metropolitan rapid 
transit system and have given the subject a vast? 
amount of study and discussion. The consequence is 
that important beginnings seem about to be made, 
and after an account of the existing transit arrange- 
ments I shall refer to these new proposals. 

All kinds of passenger transportation in Paris have 
always been strictly supervised by the authorities. 





History of 

Terms of 

of street 

Payments to 

The omnibus system of. the metropolis became im- 
portant early in the century. In 1854, by arrange- 
ment with the administration, fifteen existing omnibus 
lines became absorbed in the Compagnie Gfnfrale 
des Omnibus, to which an exclusive franchise was 
given for thirty years upon condition of large annual 
payments to the city a franchise that was renewed 
after the enlargement of the city in 1860, and was 
then extended to the year 1910. Under the plan of 
1854 the company was required to pay the city 640,000 
francs a year, with additional sums for each vehicle 
exceeding 350. By the arrangement of 1860, which is 
still in force, the company agreed to pay 1,000,000 
francs a year (which was at the rate of 2000 francs 
apiece for 500 vehicles), and to pay in addition, for 
every omnibus used beyond the number of 500, an 
annual fee of 1000 francs until 1871, to be increased 
to 1500 francs from 1871 to 1886, and thereafter to 
be fixed at 2000 francs. Thus the present payment 
is 2000 francs each for eveiy omnibus in use, and the 
number actually in use for a number of years has 
somewhat exceeded 600. After 1873, street railways 
were introduced, and those of inner Paris were con- 
structed and operated by the Compagnie G-6n6rale 
des Omnibus as an added part of its business, its street- 
railway franchises also extending to the year 1910. 
The company pays into the city treasury 1500 francs 
per year for each tram-car on its lines, and it has 
about 300 in operation. There are also two other 
^street-railway companies operating in the newer and 
suburban parts of Paris, one system on the north side 
and the other on the south ; the southern system pay- 
ing the city 1500 francs a year for each car, and the 
northern system paying 750 francs per car. 

The omnibuses and street cars of Paris are absurdly 
large, ponderous, and slow, but they are operated 



upon the most methodical system in the world. The 
routes and halting-places are precisely defined, and 
along each route is a series of neat stations built upon 
the sidewalk. Everything pertaining to the size and 
construction of the vehicles and the station-houses ; 
to the style of rails and placing of tracks ; to the ar- 
rangement, change, and addition of routes; to the 
prices charged and the transfers given , and to almost 
every other imaginable detail affecting the business, 
is prescribed by the public authorities. Upon the 
principle employed in dealing with the gas company 
as a chartered monopoly, the city has a right, after 
prescribed dividends and all public charges and pri- 
vate expenses are paid, to one half of the surplus prof- 
its of the Compagnie des Omnibus et des Tramways; 
but thus far little has been realized from contingent 
profits. The Compagnie G6n&rale transported in its 
omnibuses in 1893 more than 126,000,000 passengers, 
and in its tram-cars more than 86,000,000. Its busi- 
ness had grown from 108,750,000 passengers in 1872 
to 215,000,000 in 1889. The other two tramway com- 
panies transported some 27,000,000 passengers each 
in 1893, making a grand total for Paris of 126,000,000 
passengers carried by omnibus and 140,000,000 car- 
ried by street railway. These are not large figures 
when compared with corresponding ones for American 
cities; but it is worth while to remind American 
readers that the Parisian transit companies pay more 
than 2,000,000 francs a year to the city treasury as a 
rental for the privileges they enjoy on the streets. 

Nearly all the cabs and public carnages of Paris 
belong to one great company, the Compagnie 
G6n6rale des Voitures de Pam, which has about 
8000 vehicles in use. For the use of the public cab- 
stands, and their license to do business, each carriage 
must pay an annual license fee of 365 francs a franc 





Half the sur- 
plus profits 
go to the 

Volume of 

Control of 
cab system. 




A monopoly 
cab fran- 

A costly 

Total re- 
ceipts from 


per diem. In 1855, following the example of the 
Compagnie G6n6rale des Omnibus and the fusion of 
the gas companies, monopolies being the fashion, 
special privileges were accorded to a great cab com- 
pany that was formed to absorb numerous small pro- 
prietorships 5 and in 1862 this company obtained an 
exclusive franchise for the use of cabs and public 
carriages throughout the enlarged municipality, upon 
the basis of a payment to the city of one franc per 
day for each vehicle, and of a division with the city 
of the surplus profits, as provided in the contracts 
with the gas and omnibus companies, the patrons 
being protected by a fixed scale of charges and a 
minute code of regulations. But this monopoly was 
not deemed advantageous, and the exclusive privilege 
was revoked in 1866. To the surprise and indignation of 
the city government, the cab company obtained a judi- 
cial award of damages to the amount of 300,000 francs 
per year for each of the remaining forty-seven years of 
the original fifty-year grant. That excessive award has 
of course given the company an advantage over all 
competitors, and it has steadily grown. Since 1866 
the cab business has been free to all applicants, sub- 
ject to the laws regulating the details of the service, 
and the fee has remained at 365 francs a year. There 
are about 10,000 public carriages in Paris, of which 
four fifths belong to the Compagnie Gfenerale des Voi- 
tures. The annual receipts of the city from cab licenses 
reach 3,700,000 francs ; and the total receipts under 
the head of voitures publiques (the street-railway and 
omnibus payments being included) amount to about 
6,000,000 francs. In the past ten years, therefore, 
Paris has received nearly 60,000,000 francs as rentals 
and license fees from companies and individuals using 
the streets for passenger transportation. Undoubt- 
edly for a number of years past the city council has 



not been especially friendly to the great monopoly 
companies of Paris, and it would be more than willing 
to have some of them superseded by a system of 
direct municipal operation. But conservative public 
opinion prefers the existing arrangements, and assur- 
edly they are not disadvantageous. What is espe- 
cially needed in transportation facilities is a very 
great extension of the street railways and omnibus 
lines, with the introduction of small vehicles and a 
far more frequent and rapid service. The existing 
system of licenses, that puts a penalty upon an increase 
in the number of tram-cars and omnibuses, is clearly 
a wrong one. 

But in addition to these facilities for local transit, 
Paris needs a metropolitan system. I have referred 
to the belt railway. It follows the perimeter of the 
city just inside the fortifications. It is primarily a 
line for the connection of the great railways entering 
Paris. Only one of these roads has its passenger 
station conveniently near the center of the city, and 
the transfer of goods and passengers has been ex- 
tremely inconvenient. The girdle line also serves, 
however, for a considerable amount of ordinary local 
transportation of passengers, and may be deemed part 
of a system of metropolitan rapid transit. For the 
completion of such a system several elaborate plans 
have at different times been worked out under the 
auspices of government and municipal engineers. 
Some have been plans for underground and others 
for elevated lines. But all have involved great expen- 
ditures, and called for heavy subsidies or guaranties. 
It is probable that the final judgment will be given 
in favor of an electric underground system connect- 
ing the chief railway-stations and combining an inner 
circuitous line, following the boulevards, with lines 
across the city from east to west and from north to 


The Paris 
system of 

The girdle 

A probable 





The building 



Houses and 

south. The abolition of the present municipal limits 
will be the signal for a new transit system, for a re- 
duction of the density of the existing city, and for a 
rapid overflow of population into the broad outer 
zone to be annexed. 

Allusions have already been made to those laws 
governing construction which have secured for Paris- 
ian street architecture its air of regularity. The 
height of buildings had always been a matter of pub- 
lic regulation, but it became necessary in the Hauss- 
inann period very greatly to revise the entire code of 
building rules. Many buildings were destroyed in the 
terrible weeks of the siege and commune (1871), and 
the building laws were again revised and improved 
in 1872 to meet the exigencies of a period of unusual 
activity in construction. Buildings of great height 
have never been tolerated in Paris. The avenues, 
boulevards, and principal streets have been lined with 
houses under rules which fixed the maximum height 
of facades at 20 meters (65 feet), which have pre- 
scribed the number of stories, and which, above all 
things, have compelled private builders to observe for 
any given street, in the language of the law, the 
"raccordement et Pharmonie des lignes de construc- 
tion." The laws also require the periodical repair or 
repainting of all f a9ades, to assure the neat and fresh 
appearance of every street. 

If in the earlier part of the Napoleon-Haussmann 
era it was the outward aspect of the city's houses that 
was chiefly regarded by the administration, there 
came a gradual recognition of the necessity for care- 
ful regulation of interior construction, particularly 
from the point of view of the public health. For, to 
speak sweepingly, all houses are tenement-houses in 
Paris, and unquestionably it belongs to the genius 
of Parisian administration to regulate minutely the 



arrangement and the occupancy of such structures. 
The remaking of Paris streets, and the acquisition of 
the lie de la Cite and other central areas for public 
buildings, resulted in the clearing away of many an- 
cient and unwholesome slum houses; and the whole 
spirit of these modern reforms has been favorable to 
an improvement of the housing conditions of the 
masses. Nevertheless, there have survived in Paris 
great numbers of objectionable houses, against which 
the health authorities have had to make unceasing 

The methods pursued in this administrative crusade 
against unsanitary conditions of every character in 
the homes of the people have been too little known in 
the English-speaking countries. They have been re- 
markably efficient. For several decades there has 
existed a permanent special body of experts charged 
with the constant supervision of this one subject. It 
is entitled the Commission des Logements Insahibres. 
It is composed of thirty menibers, ten of whom are 
appointed every two years by the municipal council, 
the term being six years, and reappointments natu- 
rally being the rule. The members of this commis- 
sion, apart from the prefect of the Seine, who is ex- 
officio president, are not public functionaries, but are 
as a rule well-known citizens physicians, architects, 
engineers, and men who, for one reason or another, 
are especially qualified to pass upon questions relat- 
ing to the hygiene and construction of houses. The 
commission usually meets weekly. Its members 
live in various parts of the city, and look promptly 
into all complaints. They do not make investigations 
except upon receipt of complaints, because there 
exist various and ample agencies of official inspec- 
tion in all the arrondissements, and because all ten- 
ants are instructed that they may at any time send by 

CHAP. i. 

Clearance of 

The "com- 
mission des 





Methods of 
the board. 


in twenty 


The sanitary 

mail an unsigned complaint calling attention to the 
condition of the building in which they live. The 
commission acts upon all complaints, decides the na- 
ture and extent of repairs that should be made, or 
designates as uninhabitable the houses that are be- 
yond reclamation. Its reports go to the municipal 
council, which as a rule confirms all its recommenda- 
tions. The owner has a right to be heard, but the 
judgments of the commission carry prestige, and are 
seldom reversed. 

In the twenty years from 1872 to 1892 the commis- 
sion had secured sanitary improvements in the case 
of about fifteen thousand houses, and it must be re- 
membered that most of these were buildings lodging 
a number of families, so that nearly half a million 
people were more or less immediately affected. The 
members of the commission are not paid salaries, but 
receive an attendance fee of ten francs for each meet- 
ing, and a further fee for each written report that 
they make upon houses in their respective districts. 
The salutary results of such an organization, always 
ready to act, can hardly be overestimated. 

But this commission on unhealthful houses is an 
executive body devoted to a single feature of sanitary 
administration. The great central source of scien- 
tific authority upon all the questions that relate to the 
public health is the Conseil ffHygibne et de Salubritt. 
It is a board of health of the highest possible pres- 
tige, which dates from the year 1802. The prefect of 
police presides over it, and besides some twenty-four 
life members who are specially appointed for their 
high attainments, and who must be confirmed by the 
general government, there are ex-officio seats in the 
council for such men as the dean of the faculty of 
medicine in the University of Paris, the professors of 


hygiene and legal medicine in the same faculty, the CHAP. i. 
director of the college of pharmacy, the president of 
the army sanitary board, the director of Parisian 
public works, two chief engineers holding high official 
posts at Paris, two members of the municipal council, 
the head of the veterinary health service of the de- 
partment, a chief architect, and several high police 
officials. The ex-officio membership gives assurance of 
much special and expert talent, while in point of fact 
the life appointments are also made as marks of high Thc 

honor for eminence in the world of professional and four life 
scientific knowledge. This magnificent Council of Pub- 
lic Health is an advisory rather than an administra- 
tive body. It sets the standards, and affords the actual A . . 

J 7 An advisory 

administrative authorities the best attainable enlight- body. 

enment upon methods and principles. It is consulted 

upon the treatment of epidemics ; upon Ijhe organiza- 

tion of medical relief; upon questions of health re- 

lating to workshops, schools, and various institutions; 

upon the best ways to prevent adulteration of food 

supplies; upon the sanitation of new public buildings, 

and the principles of sanitary construction to be ob- of its topics. 

served in private buildings; upon the scientific aspects 

of water-supply, drainage, and cemetery management; 

and, in short, upon every question as it arises that 

pertains in any general sense to the health of the 

community. The body assembles twice a month, 

and the life members receive an attendance fee of 

fifty francs, only ten francs being paid as a jeton de 

presence to the ex-officio members. 

This central health council has the important ad- 
vantage of the cooperation of twenty local boards of The twenty 
health (commissions d'hygtene) established in the ar- 
rondissements. Here, again, one finds that recogni- 
tion of neighborhood life which I have already dwelt 
upon as so characteristic a part of the administration 



CHAP. i. 

of Paris. The maire in each arrondissement presides 
over the local health board, which must meet at least 
once every month to consider the sanitary condition 
of the district. Nine members, appointed for six 
years (three retiring every two years), constitute the 
board, with the maire as tenth member and president. 
The board itself proposes three names for each va- 
cancy, and the prefect of police selects a man from 
the list thus offered. Each of these arrondissement 
health boards must contain at least two physicians, 

tkmsfor , . i 

membership, one pharmacist, one veterinary surgeon, one archi- 
tect, and one engineer or technical head of a manu- 
facturing establishment. The boards are in position 
to know familiarly the general state of health in their 
own divisions of Paris, and are of immense service in 
all times of emergency, their most important work 
having to dp with measures against the spread of 
epidemic diseases. They are also active in the work 
of reporting unsanitary houses to the central commis- 
sion on logements insalubres. They have assigned to 
them important duties of statistical inquiry and col- 
lation, and they make frequent reports to the prefect 
of police, who in turn refers everything to the central 
health board, under the auspices of which the health 
statistics of the city as a whole are compiled. 

There is a central sanitary bureau in the prefecture 
of police, which supervises the active administration of 
all the health laws, by means of numerous active 
agents belonging to the special service of sanitary 
police. Since 1884 there has been a rapid develop- 
ment of the municipal disinfection service, which is 
organized for the prompt cleansing of domiciles in 
which there have been cases of infectious disease, and 

Disinfection , . A i* A * * * 

service, which also maintains a series of disinfecting stations 
provided with modern ovens and other appliances for 
the thorough treatment of articles brought in sealed 



vans from infected homes. The removal of cases of CHAP. i. 
infectious disease to special hospitals is not so general 
in Paris as in some other cities, although it is becom- 
ing more frequent. The epidemic hospitals of Paris 
are not managed separately as a part of the sanitary 
administration, but belong to the general system of 
hospitals controlled by that distinct branch of admin- 

1 . . , ,. T Epidemic 

istration known as assistance publique, that is to say, hospitals. 
poor relief, or public charity. There are historic 
reasons for the existing arrangement, but plain logic 
and the highest efficiency would seem to require that 
hospitals for the isolation of epidemic maladies should 
be wholly removed, in management as well as in loca- 
tion, from the ordinary hospitals of public charity 
and private beneficence. 

Few problems closely related to the health and 
welfare of the community have been more difficult The problem 
for Parisians to solve conclusively than that of the teries. 
cemeteries. Habitude and prejudice increase tenfold 
the perplexities which would in any case be formida- 
ble enough. Paris is a very ancient city, and many 
millions of people have died within its narrow limits. 
Custom of the most obstinate sort, about which many 
institutions and observances have grown up, has re- 
quired the interment of the dead within easy walking 
distance. A long time ago it was ordained that ceme- 
teries must be closed within the city limits, excepting 
as Pfere Lachaise and several other well-known bury- 
ing-grounds continue to be used by families who hold 
perpetual concessions in them. But all attempts to 
solve the problem by the acquisition of a very large 

7 ,_ T j ^ M. j. i Persistence 

new cemetery at some distance from the city, to be of custom. 
reached by a special railway, were futile because the 
people would not change their customs. The ceme- 
teries in the immediate vicinity of the municipal limits 
have been somewhat extended, and the same plots of 




The munici- 
pal crema- 

A report on 

relation of 


to public 


Funerals an 



ground are used over and over again every five years, 
in a manner not pleasant to contemplate. 

A few years ago, after many previous refusals, the 
French chambers enacted a law permitting cremation 
in Paris, and the municipal council at once established 
a crematory in the P&re Lachaise cemetery. An elab- 
orate system of regulations has been devised, and 
cremation is constantly growing in favor. Perhaps 
three thousand cremations a year would be as high 
an average as could be claimed for the years from 
1890 to 1895. The municipality is disposed to en- 
courage this modern innovation so far as possible; 
and when the popular prejudice against it has yielded 
somewhat there can be little doubt of its rapid gain. 

Meanwhile the health board had begun exhaustive 
scientific inquiries into the effect of the existing ceme- 
teries upon sanitary conditions; and it has made a 
report that is unexpectedly lenient and optimistic. 
The cemeteries are wholly municipal, and the service 
is a thoroughly organized one, with a central business 
bureau in the prefecture of the Seine, and a chief 
controleur of the service. It is well managed from 
the financial point of view, and productive of net 

The whole conduct of funerals in Paris has been 
assigned to the churches as a monopoly under the 
control of a central board known as the Conseil d' Ad- 
ministration du Service des Pompes Fundbres. The 
vestries of the Catholic churches elect ten members 
of this board, the two leading Protestant communions 
have each a representative, and the Jewish synod has 
one. The Archbishop of Paris appoints a vicar-gen- 
eral as a member, and the chief municipal inspector 
of funerals has a seat. This ecclesiastical monopoly 
deals in all the paraphernalia of funerals, from the 
simplest to the most elaborate ; maintains, for instance, 


a vast stock of coffins, and collects its bills in accor- CHAP. i. 
dance with a minute scale of charges that has the 
sanction of law. A large amount of money is in- 
vested in a wholesale stock of funeral goods by the 
syndicate of the vestries. This monopoly arrange- Itabusine8g 
ment was established in 1878, and it has a collective methods. 
income of perhaps three million francs a year, a small 
part of which is paid to the municipality to meet the 
expenses of the official service of funeral inspection, 
while the rest is divided pro rata among the con- 
stituent churches and parishes. Whatever criticisms 
may be brought against the system, there may be 
said in its favor that it has the merit of regularity system. 
and uniformity in method and in charges; that it 
helps to protect the poor against extortion ; and that 
for the community as a whole it probably insures a 
more dignified and appropriate conduct of obsequies 
at a smaller average expense than could be expected 
from private entrepreneurs if the monopoly were abol- 
ished. But with or without this ecclesiastical man- 
agement, there would continue to exist the strictest 
municipal oversight and control, because for centuries strict 
it has in France been deemed a public duty to regulate ontro? a 
everything having to do with the disposition of the 

Under the old regime at Paris the interference of 
state and of municipality in the business of food-sup- 
ply went much further than an ordinary control of Government 
markets, with an inspection of meat and drink, of 
bread, fruit, and all sorts of alimentary substances 
and products, in behalf of the public health. It com- 
pletely denied every principle of commercial liberty, 
proceeding upon the doctrine that the approvisionne- 
ment of a great capital required governmental initia- 
tive or interposition at every point. The regulations 





Public regu- 
lation of 

agencies of 

The public- 

The central 

that governed the exercise of trades connected with 
the food-supply, and that prescribed prices, were so 
enforced as to bring butchering, baking, wine-selling, 
and other trades into the position of semi-public mo- 
nopolies. The spirit of all this regulative system has 
gradually changed. The administration continues to 
exercise large supervision, but commerce has been im- 
shackled, and the natural laws of trade are relied 
upon to secure for the Parisians a constant supply of 
food and drink at normal prices. The existing muni- 
cipal agencies seem to me to be highly commendable. 
Taken together, they comprise a large property in- 
vestment, and a series of elaborate and skilled admin- 
istrative services ; and they form a considerable source 
of municipal revenue. 

Whereas the ancient motive that governed public 
policy was to make sure of a sufficient and cheap food- 
supply, the present motive is to exercise an oversight 
for the public health and welfare. This surveillance 
de ^alimentation is made comparatively easy by the 
municipal ownership of all markets, cattle-yards, and 
slaughter-houses, together with great entrepdts, or 
storage-houses, chiefly used for wines and other 
drinks, and by the further fact of the octroi sys- 
tem, which makes possible a preliminary inspection of 
food-supplies from the health standpoint when at the 
city limits or in the railway stations they are ex- 
amined by the revenue officers of the municipal 
customs service; 

The market system of Paris is undergoing almost 
constant extensions, to the great benefit of the people. 
The Halles Centrales, a huge covered market of 
about twenty-two acres in the heart of the city, is the 
nucleus for the wholesale distribution every morning 
of the food-supplies that arrive in the night from all 
parts of France and from neighboring countries. In 


due time this market will be served by an under- CHAP. i. 
ground railway connecting with the belt lines. It has 
retail as well as wholesale pavilions, and is probably 
the greatest market in the world. It stands where pub- 
lic markets have for centuries been concentrated ; but 
the present buildings belong to the era of the Hauss- 
mann aggrandizements. The plans were adopted 
in 1854, and 50,000,000 francs were spent in carrying 

,, . ml , , . . The present 

them out. The basements are great storage ware- buildings. 
houses. But the municipality also maintains cov- 
ered retail markets in all parts of the city, which are 
in daily operation, besides a number of open-air 
markets, with two or three market-days every week. ^^^. 
The existence of nearly a hundred public markets, kets - 
great and small, does not prevent a large number of 
magasins, or private shops and stores, from dealing 
extensively, at wholesale and retail, in all kinds of 
alimentary supplies ; but it is readily seen that the 
market system is a most wholesome regulator of 
prices, and that it benefits at the same time the work- 
ing-people of the metropolis and the gardeners and 
farmers of the vicinity. From concessions in the Municipal 
market places the city has an annual income of more m marketsT 
than 8,000,000 francs. 

The concentration of the slaughtering business in a 
series of municipal abattoirs was a policy adopted early 
in the century, five such establishments superseding abattoirs, 
the hundreds of private slaughtering-sheds in which 
each butcher prepared his own beeves, sheep, and 
swine for the shambles. In this enlightened policy, 
as in so many others, Paris led where Europe and the 
civilized world have followed. The annexation of the 
suburbs in 1860 necessitated the suppression of pri- 
vate slaughter-houses in the new arrondissements ; 
and accordingly there was built in the Villette quarter, 
at the north of Paris, the immense abattoir gtnfoal, in 


CHAP. i. which since 1870 almost the entire business of slaugh- 
tering the metropolitan meat-supply has been con- 
centrated. Two of the five earlier abattoirs have a 
limited patronage, but La Villette holds the almost 
exclusive monopoly. Adjoining the huge abattoir are 
the municipal cattle-yards and markets, with accom- 
mo< iations for scores of thousands of animals. Lately 
there has been added a large establishment called the 
Sanatorium, in which animals subject for any reason 
to suspicion of infectious disease (particularly sheep 
from eastern Europe) are held in quarantine pending 
examination. The cattle trade is admitted to the use 
of the stock-yards on payment of moderate fees, while 
all butchers in like manner have access to the abat- 
toirs, subject to the proper regulations. This con- 
centration of the meat-supply, it need not be said, 
facilitates prompt and complete scientific inspection 
by the municipal health officers who are detailed to 
that particular task. It would not, of course, be poli- 

tic to exploit an abattoir monopoly for large public 
revenues. The average income from this source has 
for some years .been about 3,000,000 francs, which is 
amply remunerative. 

The service of food inspection, which has its out-of- 
door staff stationed in the Halles, markets, and abat- 
toirs, or detailed to visit the bakeries, milk-shops, and 
various places where supplies are sold, is directed 
The muni- and supported in its work by a great chemical and 
Clpa tory. ra ~ bacteriological laboratory, which within a few years 
has grown into a position of prime importance in the 
administrative work of Paris. The city had been 
early to employ the best available engineering, archi- 
tectural, and other technical talent, and its discovery 
of the many valuable uses to which a modern scien- 
tific laboratory may be put was sure to come in due 
time. Until nearly 1880 the prefecture of police had 


maintained a force of so-called dfyustateurs, tasters, CHAP. i. 
as we should say, whose duty it was to go from 
boutique to loutique, from milk-shop to bake-shop, and The old- 


from butcher to green-grocer, tasting and smelling "tasters." 
and prying in order to find adulterations or un- 
wholesome conditions. These tasters were the sub- 
jects of derision, violent abuse, petty bribery, num- 
berless complaints. The laboratory has substituted 
exact science for unreliable guessing. Thousands of 

A i u JL j j. Kcplaccdby 

specimens every year are taken by the department or chemists. 
submitted by individuals for analysis. When the 
milk examinations began in earnest in 1881, it was 
found that more than fifty per cent, of the specimens 
analyzed showed adulteration a most appalling cir- 
cumstance in view of the relation that pure milk improye- 
bears to child-life in a great city. In 1891 the milk miik supply. 
adulterations had fallen to less than ten per cent. 
The value of this improvement in the milk-supply is 
almost beyond computation. If the laboratory had 
done nothing else, this would have justified its crea- 
tion and cost a hundred times over. But the bread- 
supply, so essential to the Parisian poor, who al- 
most live upon the long loaves of the bake-shops, 
has also been rendered very much more wholesome 
by the discovery, thanks to the municipal chemists, 
of various deleterious substances and processes. As 
for the wine of common consumption, its adultera- 
tion was found to be almost universal before 1880; 
but thousands of analyses, followed by swift ap- 
prehension of offenders, have quite transformed the 
character of the supply. In a hundred ways not at 
first anticipated, the municipal laboratory has come 
to the service of honest trade and to the protection 
of the consuming public. At a moderate price it is 
ready to make a prompt and authoritative analysis 
for any private applicant. As a rule, the imperfec- 





General ser- 
vices of the 

effect upon 

tions in food articles discovered since 1890 are of a 
far less serious nature than those found ten years 
earlier. Harmful substances are not often found to- 
day in the Parisian confections, whereas in 1880 such 
adulterations were usual. The laboratory makes hun- 
dreds of water analyses yearly, gives scientific aid to 
the practical service of disinfection, in several ways 
contributes to the work of improving the methods 
of sewage disposal and treatment, and, in short, 
lends itself quite indispensably to one phase or an- 
other of the work of almost every department of the 
municipal administration. 

Some of the most far-reaching measures for the 
promotion of the public health have not yet had 
time to accomplish results strikingly apparent in the 
statistics of the Parisian death-rate. The completion 
of the double water-supply, of the work of cesspool 
extinction, of the sewage-farm system, and of some 
other sanitary reforms, must, however, within a few 
years have a clear effect upon the bills of mortality. 

A very remarkable decline of typhoid fever has 
already followed the measures of sanitary ameliora- 
tion that have been pursued, so that the deaths from 
this cause in the decade from 1882 to 1892 were not 
nearly half as many as in the preceding decade, while 
in the most recent years the typhoid scourge has 
seemed to be nearing the point of extinction. 

Public charity, centrally administered as one vast, 
unified department under the name of B Assistance 
The work of Publique d Paris, has absorbed and systematized al- 
most every important form and agency of relief and 
succor. The charitable work of ecclesiastical and 
benevolent societies and of private individuals, large 
as it must be in the aggregate, lies in the back- 
ground without much pretense of organization or 

Decline of 




thoroughness, and is carried on with fewer establish- CHAP. i. 
ments and institutions than one finds in English or 
American cities. To the Assistance Publique, with a scope of 

. . . , . " assistance 

large council of administration and a single executive 
head, belong (1) the great hospitals of Paris ; (2) the 
homes, asylums, and retreats for the aged poor, the 
orphaned or friendless children, and special groups 
of the defective and dependent classes; and (3) the 
supervision and support of outdoor or domiciliary 
relief, whether in the form of medical attendance, 
temporary succor with money, food, or fuel, or regu- 
lar and permanent aid at home in lieu of support in 
an institution. Overlapping of charitable work is 
prevented by this unified administration, and there 
results a more prompt and more universal alleviation 
of distress than could otherwise be secured, with a 
minimum of extravagance or abuse. 

This huge consolidation of relief work is the out- 
growth of several centuries of varied experience, and 
it reached its completed form in about the year 1850. 
The laws of the Revolutionary period had transferred 
the administration of hospitals and public charity 
from semi-ecclesiastical to purely civil and secular 
auspices. But hospitals and asylums remained for a 
long time under a management quite distinct from 
that of the ordinary distribution of alms or medical 
succor to the poor in their homes or at local dispen- 
saries. The law of 1849 united all these forms of 
public relief in one general administration, although 
the various services are highly differentiated. Under 
the control and surveillance of the central Assistance 
Publique there exists in every arrondissement a 
Bureau de Bienfaisancej with headquarters in the 
mairie building; and in this bureau is concentrated 
the practical work of poor relief for the arrondisse- 
ment concerned. Attached to it are the neighbor- 




General or- 

A great char- 
ity board. 

of the body. 

ative sys- 

hood visitors, who know the people and are known 
by them, and through whom the deserving poor are 
likely to find prompt assistance. But I shall mention 
more particularly the bureaux de bienfaisaiice after 
describing the organization of the central Assistance 

The entire administration is under the authority of 
the prefect of the Seine and his superior, the Minister 
of the Interior, and is actively exercised by a single 
responsible director, who is nominated by the prefect 
and appointed by the minister. But the director is 
guided in all important matters by the advice of a 
council of surveillance, which is required by law to 
meet as often as once every fifteen days, and which 
may be called together as frequently as occasion re- 
quires. In the hands of this great board of public 
charity rests the policy that expends a yearly revenue 
of perhaps thirty million francs. The composition 
of the board is highly characteristic of the Parisian 
system. It has twenty members, including the pre- 
fect of the Seine and the prefect of police by virtue 
of their offices. The prefect of the Seine is president 
of the board. Of the remaining eighteen, thirteen 
are delegates from other bodies, and five are directly 
appointed from without. The thirteen must include 
two members of the municipal council, two maires or 
adjoint-maires of arrondissements, two representa- 
tives of the local bureaux de bienfaisance, one repre- 
sentative of the Council of State, one of the Court of 
Cassation, a hospital physician, a hospital surgeon, a 
professor of the faculty of medicine, a member of the 
chamber of commerce, and a member of one of the 
councils of prud'hommes. These various bodies pre- 
sent lists of candidates when places are to be filled, 
and the selection is made by the President of the 
Republic on recommendation of the Minister of the 


Interior. The five remaining members are directly CHAP.I. 
appointed. Membership in all cases (except those of 
the two prefects) is for a term of six years, and one 
third of the eighteen retire every two years, with 
indefinite reeligibility. The high character of this 
board is thus assured by the very nature of its com- 
position. Under its enlightened surveillance every 
feature of the work of public charity makes steady 
progress, and every new scientific or sociological 
development finds just recognition. 

It does not belong to my account of organization 
and of method to give a list of the splendid series of 
general and special hospitals, hospices, asylums, and 
retreats that are maintained by the Assistance Pub- 
lique. But I may verv properly remark upon the TT . _ 

* _ Uospittils 

great expansion and improvement of the series in ami asylums 
the period since 1872. All in all, they contain ac- 
commodations for about thirty thousand patients 
and inmates. One of the chief innovations of recent 
years has been the gradual but rapid transformation 
of the hospitals from a religious to a secular basis. 
The nurses and chief attendants until after 1881 
were supplied by various religious orders. The Ijaicizin 
municipal authorities have preferred to substitute the service. 
their own regularly trained professional nurses for 
the members of the religious sisterhoods. Several 
training-schools were opened in connection with the 
great hospitals, and one by one the institutions have 
been completely laicized, until the religieuses are left 
only in a few places where their presence is expressly 
required by the terms of bequests and donations. 

The medical and surgical services of the hospitals 
and asylums are of the highest repute, and it greatly Medical and 

, i * j j. -i j. * surgical or- 

enhances a professional reputation to be connected 
with the hospitals. Admission to these services is 
based upon competitive examination, and the physi- 




High scien- 
tific stan- 

Outside re- 
lief work. 



a domicile." 

cians and surgeons are content to receive very small 
pay. A great number of special laboratories are 
maintained in the hospitals, and every encouragement 
is given to the professional staff to make researches 
that will add to the world's knowledge of diseases 
and their treatment. To this end, also, a remarkable 
series of medical libraries is maintained, and a yearly 
appropriation is made to subsidize members of the 
staff who are detailed to pursue investigations in 
other countries. The instruction given in the schools 
for nurses is especially complete and thorough, and 
in a variety of ways the hospital administration lends 
itself to the advancement of professional skill and 
knowledge, and to the progress of scientific surgery, 
medicine, and hygiene. 

The minute organization of the charity depart- 
ment makes it easy in practice to ascertain through 
prompt inquiries what applicants are entitled to free 
hospital treatment, what applicants are able to pay, 
what persons are entitled to free medical aid in their 
own domiciles, and so on. In general it is the ac- 
cepted policy to admit to institutions none who can 
be cared for outside. For nearly all the purposes 
of this outside relief work, the Assistance Publique 
avails itself of the cooperation of the several bureaux 
de bienfaisance of the arrondissements. Each arron- 
dissement has its corps of resident physicians at- 
tached to the service of mtdical secours d domicile. 
It is held to be an honor and a mark of professional 
prestige to serve the community in this capacity, and 
when a four years' appointment is to be made, the 
practising physicians of the arrondissement are all 
called together to elect a candidate by ballot. It is 
enough to remark of this system that it tends to 
secure for the poor in their homes an attentive and 
skilful ministry of medical relief. Midwives, in like 

vv*avtYi/w owruwrfaiin +f\ >anln VVMI^OTI /la Tvi a-n-f a-iaan/tA 



The maire, it has been explained, sits as chairman 
of the arrondissement charity board, or bureau de 
bienfaisance, which has its offices in the mairie build- 
ing, accessible to the whole neighborhood. Besides 
the maire the bureau is composed of twelve adminis- 
trateurSj half of whom are appointed by the prefect 
and half by the municipal council, and who are re- 
eligible on expiration of their two-year terms. These 
official members of the bureau associate with them- 
selves an indefinite number of well-disposed men and 
women willing to aid in household visitation of the 
poor ; and these are known as commissaires de chariU 
and dames de chariti. For purposes of poor relief the 
arrondissement is divided into twelve sections, each 
one of which is assigned to an adininistrateur, who 
in turn may command the aid of several of the dames 
or commissaires de charite. Still further, in each 
arrondissement there are several so-called maisons de 
secours (houses of relief), which are headquarters of 
sisters of charity who minister to the sick and cariy 
on at still closer quarters much of the practical work 
of the bureau de bienfaisance. I have endeavored to 
make it clear that the whole structure of the twenty 
Parisian bureaux de bienfaisance is so designed as to 
render it reasonably certain that in the actual relief 
of the poor the unpaid services of trustworthy neigh, 
bors may be secured, rather than those of perfunctory 
officials. It is also intended that the small districts 
may insure complete supervision and intimate know- 
ledge of conditions. 

In recent years no part of the work of assistance 
publique has been more carefully developed than that 
which relates to the rescue, maintenance, and proper 
instruction of friendless children. It is possible that 
the low birth-rate in France has had something to do 
with the awakening of a special solicitude for every 
child of French parentage a feeling that has be- 


The "bien- 
faisance " 


tions in 
small dis- 

Care of 

CHAP. 1. 

The city's 
wards in 

Sources of 



Tax on 




come embodied in public policy. In the case of every 
unfortunate child, the State, as represented by the 
Assistance Publique & Paris, aims to be very much 
more than a grudging stepfather. Its efforts are 
destined to produce some interesting results in the 
field of the physical and mental training of children. 
Besides thousands placed in industrial schools and 
otherwise provided for, many thousands more are 
every year sent to country homes, where the au- 
thorities maintain a general surveillance over them. 
Thus, in any given year the Paris officials in charge 
of enfants assists have on their active lists some 
thirty thousand children distributed as apprentices 
to farmers. 

The Assistance Publique & Paris has through lega- 
cies and gifts acquired a considerable endowment, 
and its income from invested funds is several million 
francs. It is also the recipient almost every day 
of new bequests or donations available for some part 
of its current expenditure. Many of the particular 
bureaux de bienfaisance also have endowment funds 
of their own. Moreover, there are certain special 
sources of revenue set apart for the charity adminis- 
tration, one of them being a tax of ten per cent, on 
the cost of all theater tickets and on the gross rev- 
enue of all places of amusement. This particular 
source yields a yearly charitable income of from 
three to four million francs. The municipal council 
votes annual appropriations, averaging about twenty 
million francs, to make the revenues of the Bureau of 
Assistance Publique equal to its necessities. 

In a remarkable variety of ways the Parisian mu- 
nicipality has in very recent years attempted to play 
the rdle of prompt friend and servitor to its people 
in times of emergency and special misfortune. The 



stations along the river and canals, and elsewhere in 
the central districts, for life-saving services and in- 
stant succor in cases of drowning or street accidents, 
form a well-known instance. Much less known, but 
far more important, is the service of night medical 
and surgical relief, organized in every neighborhood 
of the metropolis, and responding each year to a 
rapidly increasing demand. 

Municipal lodging-houses have in the past been no 
part of the Parisian policy ; but an experimental be- 
ginning was made in 1886, and there are now three 
institutions in service, two for men and one for 
women, with the prospect of a further development 
of the system. These Parisian lodging-houses (refuges 
de nuit) are absolutely free of all charge to their 
guests, French policy in this regard being entirely 
different from that of the British cities. Care is 
taken not to admit vagabonds or unworthy charac- 
ters, the intention being to afford shelter to hon- 
est laborers who are seeking work. Such men are 
permitted to come for three successive nights. None 
are admitted who have not been residents of Paris 
for some time. The two establishments have a capa- 
city of perhaps six hundred per night. Their facili- 
ties for laundry work and disinfection are complete, 
and each guest is provided with a change of clothing 
while present. Soup is served at night, and bread is 
given to every one in the morning. All possible as- 
sistance is lent in the quest for employment. Thus, 
in the course of every year the city dispenses hospi- 
tality to thousands of honest men in temporary need. 

The lodging-house for working-women is of a dif- 
ferent character, inasmuch as it allows necessitous 
women to bring children with t* ^m. and affords them 
shelter and care as long as the exigency requires, 
the average sojourn being nearly a month. Until 


Night medi- 
cal relief. 


A generous 

A transient 
home for 




to criches. 

Advance of 

An agricul- 
tural colony. 

The policy 
to be ex- 

they can obtain employment elsewhere they are given 
something to do in the lodging-house. Those who 
enter this place are, in good faith, women who are ac- 
customed to earn their own living by honest labor. 

By subventions from the municipal treasury the 
city council aids in the maintenance of the numer- 
ous crfeches which render free service to so many 
working-women of Paris. Another interesting form 
of aid which the city council promotes very liberally 
is the advance of rent-money in cases where worthy 
families, through illness or other misfortune, have 
been evicted by their landlords, and have no means 
with which to engage a new domicile. This, ob- 
viously, is a kind of charity that calls for great dis- 
cretion. But through the minute and thorough 
organization of the bureaux de bienfaisance it is 
quite possible to render such aid, as a temporary 
loan in deserving instances, and to withhold it where 
its application would be unwise. From fifteen to 
twenty thousand families each year are helped in 
this way. 

In 1891 the'-^municipality began the experiment of 
an agricultural colony on a farm that it had acquired 
at Chalmelle, in r the department of Marne. It had 
found among Paris paupers a considerable element 
of men who had come to the city from the rural 
districts, and had gone completely to the wall. The 
agricultural colony is proving to be the best place 
for such men, and the experiment is to be extended 
so as to embrace families (single men only have here- 
tofore been admitted), and separate cottages with 
gardens are to be allotted to such families. It is 
expected that the farm colony will serve as the door- 
way through which^iany men that have failed in 
the city can be successfully reabsorbed into the agri- 
cultural life of France, or else equipped for a new 
start in one of the French dependencies. 



Free bureaus of employment are now maintained 
in the mairies of most of the arrondissements of 
Paris, and the municipal council votes a subven- 
tion each year toward their support. Private citi- 
zens who have the time and means, and who are 
generously disposed toward the workingmen of 
their neighborhoods, give much voluntary, unpaid 
service to the management of these local labor ex- 
changes. The results are beneficent in various 
ways. As a crowning evidence of its devotion to 
the cause of labor, the Paris municipal council 
determined, in 1886, to establish a great Bourse du 
Travail, or central labor exchange. This institution 
was completed and opened in 1892, about two mil- 
lion francs having been expended upon it. It became 
at once the headquarters of all the trades-unions and 
labor bodies in Paris, not less than eighty-two trades 
being represented through the appointed agents of 
their societies. The municipal council votes fifty 
thousand francs a year toward the maintenance of 
the institution, and it is believed that the Bourse will 
prove in many ways promotive of the well-being of 
Parisian artisans, and of the industrial and commer- 
cial progress of the metropolis. 

Such an official recognition by the municipal gov- 
ernment of the organized workingmen's bodies, it 
should be remembered, grows out of a French policy 
the roots of which sink deep into the practices of the 
middle ages. Under the old regime all matters affect- 
ing wages and industry were settled by the tribunals 
of the trades guilds and merchant bodies. These cor- 
porations disappeared in the vortex of the great 
Revolution ; but, as to some of their attributes and 
functions, they were virtually reestablished in the 
early days of the present century in the form of tri- 
bunals of commerce and Cornells des prucPhommes. 
In all large towns the municipal government became 


Free em- 
offices in the 

The central 
latx>r ex- 



and labor 





of "pracT- 

at Paris. 

unions may 
bid for pub- 
lic work. 

The public 

responsible for the support of these special tribunals 
for the prompt adjustment of differences arising in 
the course of trade and industry. In the conseils 
des prud'hommes the employers and the workingmen 
are allowed exactly equal representation. The sys- 
tem inevitably encourages the organization of distinct 
trades and crafts in unions. The prud'hommes in 
Paris are in four distinct councils, one of which be- 
longs to the building trades, one to textile industries, 
one to chemical and kindred manufactures, and one 
to metal industries and miscellaneous crafts. From 
twenty-five thousand to thirty thousand cases are 
brought before these Paris prud'hoinmes every year, 
most of the cases relating to differences about 
wages, and the great majority are promptly ad- 
justed by conciliation without appreciable cost. It 
would seem likely that the erection of the new labor 
bourse would tend to the strengthening of such com- 
mendable agencies as the conseils des prud'hommes, 
and that it would also contribute toward the solu- 
tion of the problem how to prevent strikes. 

It is worth while to mention the fact that the mu- 
nicipal council several years ago voted to allow asso- 
ciations of workingmen to make bids for public work 
let by contract, thus in a still different way recogniz- 
ing the labor organizations, while offering encourage- 
ment to cooperative efforts. 

No department of local administration has entered 
more thoroughly into the customs and the life of the 
common people of Paris than the Mont-de-Pit6, or 
public pawnshop. It is a venerable institution, for 
it was first established in 1777. But it has so adapted 
its methods to changing conditions that no one would 
think of considering it obsolescent or antiquated. 
On the contrary, it was never so strong or so vital as 



in these last years of the nineteenth century. The 
services that it renders the great Parisian commu- 
nity are exceedingly creditable to the humane instincts 
and sound business sense that have made modern 
French administration superior in its conservation 
of the popular wealth. 

The mont-de-pi6t6 was established to protect the 
people from the usurers. Private pawnbroking was 
obviously a public evil, an aggravation of poverty, 
and too often an ally of all sorts of crimes against 
property. At the outset the new venture was placed 
under the auspices and control of the hospital and 
charity administration. It was signally useful dur- 
ing the period of economic disturbance that attended 
and followed the great Revolution. Its plan from 
the first has been to receive interest-bearing time de- 
posits, somewhat like a savings-bank, and to use the 
money thus obtained in loaning upon chattels. Its 
object has not been to earn net revenues, although it 
has always allowed a safe margin of profit, and has 
thus accumulated ample reserve funds, besides pro- 
viding itself with suitable buildings and appliances. 

Besides a great central establishment and three 
large auxiliaries, the mont-de-piet6 possesses twenty 
branches, in different parts of Paris, for the conve- 
nience of the people of the various quarters. The 
number of articles upon which loans were made for 
the year 1892 was 2,276,149, and the amount loaned 
was 60,765,917 francs. Thus the public pawnshop, 
upon the average, makes a loan each year of about 
25 francs to every man, woman, and child of Paris. 
Formerly the loans were made at the rate of 9 per 
cent, per annum, with a small added charge of ap- 
praisal, etc., and 4J per cent, was paid upon yearly 
deposits. But beginning with 1885 there have been 
gradual reductions until borrowers have now to pay 


Objects of 

the mont-de- 



and volume 
of business. 

Rates for 
loans and 




Benefits to 
small bor- 

Profits only 

on large 


Removal of 

only at the rate of 6 per cent., with a fixed charge 
of 1 per cent, to cover insurance upon the articles 
pledged and certain other expenses. The mont-de- 
pi6te is able to secure all the money it requires at 3 
per cent, upon yearly deposits, and 2J or even 2 per 
cent, upon deposits for shorter periods. 

A great advantage to the poor that arises from 
the public monopoly of pawnbroking is the low rate 
upon small loans. Obviously, at the 6 per cent, 
yearly rate all very small loans (and the mont-de- 
piete lends as small a sum as 3 francs) are made at a 
loss to the institution. That is to say, if it were not 
for the profit upon the half-million largest loans, it 
would be impossible to make the remaining two mil- 
lion loans at the existing rate. Loans smaller than 
22 francs are made at a loss, even though they are 
outstanding for years. Loans of 85 francs are profit- 
able, even if they are made for only one month. 
Some profit is made on all loans of a larger amount, 
no matter how short the time. But since the average 
of all loans is from 25 to 30 francs (the average vary- 
ing year by year), it is evident that the great majority 
are made at a loss, and that the mont-de-pi6te is thus 
a boon to the poor. 

Formerly there was a limit fixed upon the amount 
that could be borrowed by any one person ; but this 
limit has now been removed, experience having shown 
that the institution is financially strong enough to 
meet all possible demands, and that the increase of 
large loans makes it the easier to give advantageous 
terms to the small borrowers. This removal of the 
maximum has greatly increased the usefulness of the 
institution to merchants and business men. 

In 1892 an innovation was adopted which has al- 
ready been attended with the most satisfactory results. 
This was the loaning of sums not to exceed 500 francs 


upon stocks and bonds. To appreciate the significance CHAP. i. 
of this step it should be remembered that public loans 
in France are issued in bonds of small denomination, Loans on 
which form the favorite investment for the savings s shares! 1 
of employees, artisans, small shopkeepers, and thrifty 
servants. Many people of this class, for example, own 
one Paris municipal bond or Credit Foncier bond of 
400 or 500 francs. The Bank of France had always 
adhered to the rule of making no loans smaller than usefulness 
500 francs. Private money-lenders could not always vaSon. no 
be relied upon to deal equitably with the borrower of 
small sums on shares of stock. The mont-de-pifete 
now grants loans on this class of securities at 6 per 
cent, to a grateful constituency. 

As an illustration of the service rendered by this 
new department of the mont-de-pi6t6, let us suppose 
that Jacques owns one share, or litre, of Paris muni- 
cipal stock, and that he has further accumulated 300 H w it 

_ ^i i -IT,,- i works in 

francs in the municipal savings-bank at a time when practice. 
a desirable new loan is issued by the municipality, in 
which Jacques has a laudable ambition to invest. Such 
is his aversion to the high rates and devious ways of 
private money-lenders that he would not have ventured 
to hypothecate his precious titre in order to obtain 100 
francs. But he has perfect confidence, as every Pari- 
sian has, in the mont-de-pi6t& He deposits his titre, 
borrows his 100 francs, withdraws the 300 from the 
savings-bank, goes to the mairie of his arrondissement, 
and secures his new 400-franc city bond. As soon as 
he has saved 100 francs he redeems the pledged titre ; 
and the accommodation has cost him only half a franc 
per month. Obviously, this arrangement is promotive 
of private thrift on the one hand, and stimulative on 
the other hand of the popular market for municipal 
bonds and various public or quasi-public securities. 
This public monopoly of pawnshops, far from abet- 


CHAP. i. ting theft, has proved a chief agency in helping the 
police authorities to detect and prevent stealing. It 
infreqaency i s sa id that about 360,000 watches are received as 
pledges, pledges every year by the Paris mont-de-pi6te, and 
that only about 250, or 7 in every 10,000, prove to 
have been stolen. This is an amazing record ; yet it 
is further true that the mont-de-piete receives three 
times as many stolen watches as all other stolen ar- 
ticles put together. These figures express the results 
of a system of vigilant and painstaking cooperation 
between the mont-de-pi6te and the police authorities 
that would require pages for any detailed description. 
The mont-de-pi6t(3 is under the responsible manage- 
ment of a single director, with an elaborate organiza- 
, tion of subordinates. Its affairs have the surveillance 

Make-up of 

themont-cie- o f a council of administration of which the prefect of 

piete COUIl- ,/> an -i i A A i 

cii. the Seine is ex-officio president, the prefect of police 
being also a member. Besides the two prefects, there 
are nine others, of whom three must be members of 
the municipal council, three must be connected with 
the Assistance Publique or the bureaux de bienf aisance, 
and the remaining three must be citizens of Paris, and 
may or may not be holding other official positions. 
The appointments are for six years, three members 
retiring biennially. Vacancies are filled by the Min- 
ister of the Interior, who designates his choice from 
a list of three names presented by the prefect. The ac- 
tive director is selected in the same way. The council, 
as constituted in practice, is thoroughly representative 
of the official municipal life of Paris, and the mont-de- 
piet6 is thus kept in close and harmonious relation- 
ship with the central authorities of the Hotel de Ville 
and with the neighborhood administration of the ar- 
rondissements and the mairies. 

A good system of savings-banks is much more than 
a convenience to the prudent and economical of a 




Th Caisse 

community. It is a powerful promoter of thrift, CHAP.I. 

and a constant enemy of extravagance and improvi- 

dence. The multiplication of savings-banks through- The savings- 

. -r, i i j * 11 banks of 

out France municipal and pnvate systems as well as France. 
the branches of the national postal system is a fac- 
tor of prime importance in the conservation of the na- 
tional wealth. Paris is elaborately served by a series 
of branches belonging to this national system (Caisse 
d'Epargne Nationale) ; but it has also a distinct muni- 
cipal system of earlier date and of still greater local 
importance. The Caisse d'fipargne et de Pr6voyance 
de Paris, as the local system is called, is managed by 
an appointed board of directors who serve without pay 
of any kind, and who are chosen from among the most 
distinguished financiers of Paris. Besides its great 
central establishment in the Rue Coq-Heron, it has 
branches in the mairies of the different arrondisse- 
ments and in the suburban communes. It has, in all ? 
forty places of business, for the convenience of the 
people of the greater Paris. The number of individual 
accounts increases every year. There were 582,000 
at the beginningof 1890, and this number had increased 
to nearly 630,000 at the opening of 1893. Thus one per. 
son in every four of the population keeps an account 
in the Caisse d'fipargne. The total amount deposited 
was nearly 160,000,000 francs on January 1, 1893, and 
the average credit was 250 francs. Nearly half, how- 
ever, of the depositors had accounts of less than 25 

These statistics do not include the business of the 
Paris offices of the national savings-bank system. 
This branch of the postal administration is compara- 
tively young. In 1882 its total deposits at Paris were 
only seven million francs, while in 1892 they were, 
in round figures, sixty-eight million six hundred 
thousand francs. The average credit of each deposi- 




at Pari8 ' 




A million 



branches of 
the munici- 
pal savings- 

tor in this national postal system, which uses the 
branch post-offices of Paris as depositories, is much 
smaller than in the municipal system, but the actual 
number of patrons is about as large. Thus it would 
appear to be a very conservative reckoning to place 
the number of individual Parisians who have savings- 
bank credits, under one system or the other, at more 
than a million. The funds are invested for the most 
part In public securities; and the interest paid to 
depositors, which was formerly at a higher rate, is 
now generally at three, three and one fourth, or three 
and one half per cent. 

As long ago as 1875 the savings-bank feature was 
introduced into the elementary schools of Paris ; and 
since that time about two hundred and twenty-five 
different schools have, through their teachers, taught 
practical thrift by means of pupils' branches (Epargne 
Scolaire) of the Caisse d'fipargne de Paris. The 
sums that poor children at school can deposit in 
savings-banks are almost infinitesimal, and the sys- 
tem is carried on for the educational value it seems 
to possess. Nevertheless, the fipargne Scolaire now 
collects about one hundred and fifty thousand francs 
a year; and from 1875 to 1893 it had paid over to 
the main institution about two million francs of 
children's deposits. 

Though it is only a minor incident in the work of 
the Parisian school system, the fipargne Scolaire is 
Education significant as pointing to the exceedingly practical 
nost h Lsk l of relation elementary instruction is made to bear in 
Paris toward the part that the citizen must play in 
life. Indeed, if I were asked what, upon the whole, 
I considered the largest, most modern, and most es- 
sentially characteristic of all the departments or 
undertakings of the Parisian municipal authorities, 

the Paris 



I should be inclined to ascribe first place to the work CHAP. i. 
of public instruction. The new policy began with 
the present republic, at the end of the Franco-Prus- 
sian war. In 1873 five or six per cent, of the young 
Parisians examined for military duty were absolutely 
illiterate. In 1893 the illiterates had fallen below 
one per cent. Elementary instruction before 1870 
was, for the most part, under ecclesiastical auspices, 
and it was ill supported and wholly inadequate. The 
religious orders still maintain their separate educa- 
tional work, and there are also many private schools ; ment ot free 
but the regular system of secular municipal public schools. 
schools has vastly outgrown all rivals. Education, 
between the ages of six and fourteen, has been abso- 
lutely compulsory in France since 1881, and also per- 
fectly free. Not only is instruction given without 
charge, but books and all other materials are freely 
For the smallest children there exists a system of 

The niator- 

so-called maternal schools (ecoles maternelles), which nai schools. 
are, in effect, kindergartens. Attendance is not com- 
pulsory, but it is free ; and these schools are so de- 
lightfully conducted that they are an inexpressible 
boon to the families of the poor. There are about 
two hundred of these free maternal schools in Paris, 
with from fifty to sixty thousand little pupils under 
six years of age. To bridge the somewhat abrupt 
transition from the tender and indulgent methods 
of the mistresses of the 6coles maternelles to the 
more formal and rigid system that prevails in the 
regular primary schools, it has been found well to 
establish a system of so-called enfantile schools for 
children between six and eight. These are only for 
the more timid, sensitive, or backward. They serve 
an admirable purpose for thousands of children 
every year. 


CHAP. i. Of course the main feature of the school system is 

the series of primary schools. For the year 1892 

The regular there were more than one hundred and fifty-six thou- 

primary ITIT i i i 

schools, sand children in these primary schools, of whom 
eighty-five thousand were boys and seventy-one thou- 
sand were girls. The number of schools was approxi- 
mately four hundred, of which half were for boys and 
half for girls ; and besides some four hundred prin- 
cipals, almost equally divided between men and 
women, there were more than two thousand six 
hundred teachers, of whom half were men and half 

In private schools, clerical and otherwise, there were 
91,500 children. Thus, including the ecoles matemelles 
and the public and private primary schools, there were 
attendant*, nearly 310,000 children enrolled in the Paris schools 
in 1892, not counting those in the secondary, special, 
and higher institutions. More than 61,000 of the 
scholars attending private schools were girls. The 
gain of the public schools has been constant, and the 
parochial institutions, conducted by the religious or- 
ders, seem destined to decline from year to year. 

The strictly educational aspects of the work and 
methods of the Paris schools are certainly worth at- 
tention, but their detail does not belong to my present 
theme. Since, however, these schools arc the prime 
solicitude of the municipal council, and deemed by all 
the local authorities as at the very heart of the work 
of the municipal government, I may properly note 
some of their special features. And first it may be 
explained that the schools of each of the twenty ar- 
roiidissements fall under the general care of an ar- 

of school -. .. i i 11 11 

system, rondissement commission, over which the local maire 
presides, the other members being appointed by the 
municipal council, excepting that the Academic has a 
representative. The whole system is held together 




Medical in- 
s schools. 

and assimilated under a scheme of governmental in- CHAP. i. 
spection and management. It is enough to say that 
the municipal council, the prefectoral administration, 
and the national ministry of education provide all the 
necessary oversight ; while in the arrondissements and 
the school districts themselves there are local organiza- 
tions that bring the citizens and the parents into close 
and active relations with the public schools. Under 
these circumstances it has been easy to carry out a 
series of very interesting innovations. 

One of these new things is an elaborate service of 
medical inspection. Perhaps one hundred and fifty 
physicians are connected with this service, and they 
visit all schools regularly and frequently to report upon 
general sanitary conditions, to watch for cases of con- 
tagious disease, and to care for any children needing 
medical attention. Medical school dispensaries have 
now also been recently established in most of the ar- 
rondissements, as an extension of the earlier service 
of attendance and inspection, and school baths have 
in a number of instances been opened. 

A particularly attractive and humane experiment, 
begun in 1889, has proved itself a bright success. 
This is the system of garderws, or classes de garde, for 
small children whose parents are employed away from penment. 
home during the day. In many cases the instances 
were numbered by the thousand young pupils were 
released at four, while their parents could not return 
from their work for two hours or more. Such chil- 
dren are now kept in custody by some one connected 
with their school, are allowed to play under safe con- 
ditions, and are sent home at the proper hour. In 
some arrondissements the garderies assume charge of 
such children in the morning as well as at night ; and 
they are always responsible for the safe-keeping and 
the happiness of their infant clientele on each Thurs* 



at school. 

CHAP. i. day holiday. In 1891 there were 72 of these garderies, 
with 4318 children under their carej and the num- 
bers have much increased since that time. 

A far more expensive experiment, though not less 

firmly established as the result of experience, is that 

^ , of providing a warm noon meal at school for the 

Warm meals * 

benefit of poor children who would otherwise have 
little or nothing to eat during the school day. Many 
children go to their homes for the noon meal, but 
the majority remain at school. The cantines scolaires 
provide warm meals gratuitously to those whose pa- 
rents are not able to pay, and charge others at the rate 
of ten centimes (two American cents, or one English 
penny) for each meal. A uniform ticket system is 
used in such a way that the children themselves can- 
not recognize any distinction between those who are 
fed gratuitously and those who pay. The system was 
begun in 1882, and it has grown steadily in favor and 
support. In 1891 there were between eight million 
and nine million meals served, considerably more than 
half of them (nearly sixty per cent.) being gratuitous. 
The plan rests too firmly upon common sense to be 
abandoned. Physical as well as mental development 
is the object of the schools, and in any case free text- 
books and good instruction- would be wasted upon a 
poor child suffering from the bitter pangs of hunger. 
Obviously, the teachers could not manage all these 
extra services without much outside assistance. In 
point of fact, the cantines scolaires, or school restau- 
rants, are in charge of auxiliary organizations known 
as caisses des fooles (school treasuries). Originally 
the caisse d'ecole was an informal association of the 
adult friends of a particular school, each member of 
which contributed a few francs a year for prizes, for 
acts of charity to poor children, and for various pur- 
poses promotive of the excellence of the schools and 



The school 



the well-being of the children. But so valuable did 
they prove themselves that they were some years ago 
recognized and established by law. The municipal 
council subsidizes them heavily, and makes them re- 
sponsible for a constantly increasing number of ser- 
vices. The governing board of each caisse contains 
several ex-officio members, including the local maire 
and other functionaries ; but the members themselves 
elect from their own body a controlling majority of 
the board. 

It is through the caisses des 6coles that parents of 
school-children, and all other friends of elementary 
education, find their best opportunity to come into 
contact with the life and work of the schools. Each 
regular member contributes a fixed yearly fee, usu- 
ally ten or fifteen francs ; while an order of life mem- 
bers, called founders (fondatews), includes those who 
have paid in advance a specified sum, usually rang- 
ing from one hundred to two hundred francs. Then 
there are the donateurs (donors), who subscribe from 
year to year without being held to any definite 
amount. The sum total of the fees, together with 
the amounts that are raised by concerts and enter- 
tainments of various kinds, gives each caisse a consid- 
erable fund of its own. The managers of the caisse 
are able to ascertain accurately the circumstances 
and home conditions of every child in the district. 
Out of their fund they see that shoes are provided 
for those who need them, and, in fact, that all school- 
children are comfortably and decently attired. They 
possess the knowledge which is required for a wise 
distribution of the free meal tickets. They are also 
in a position to determine what children require the 
kindly attentions of the garderies. Moreover, in many 
instances the good offices of the school caisse are car- 
ried into the homes of poverty to relieve sick parents. 


by law. 

Sources of 

Their vari- 
ous good 





promotion of 



School va- 
cation trips 
and camps. 

schools as a 
new feature 
of the sys- 

Rapid in- 
creane of the 

Upon this excellent foundation other social services 
to poor and deserving children have been undertaken 
by the Paris municipality. Thus, a number of direc- 
tors of sports are regularly employed, and on holi- 
days in the parks and playgrounds the young Pari- 
sians are now being officially inducted into the kinds 
of outdoor games and exercises that only a few years 
ago they knew so little about. Every year the city 
council votes a handsome sum of money to pay for 
the management of school vacation trips into the 
country; and an important system of school camps 
and colonies has been established, its object being to 
send a large number of sickly children of the work- 
ing-class into the country in summer. 

In 1882 the year from which date most of the 
recent developments and innovations in the French 
school system it was determined to introduce the 
boarding-school feature into the Paris schools, for the 
benefit of widowers or of other parents or guardians 
whose occupations made it difficult to maintain a 
suitable home environment for small children. Six 
hundred francs a year was found to be the cost of 
boarding and clothing a child in one of the internats 
primaireSj and the municipality consented to pay the 
remainder if thirty-five francs per month were ad- 
vanced by the parents or guardians. In 1892 this 
payment was reduced to ten francs or twenty francs, 
according to the pecuniary circumstances of the 
persons responsible for the child. At the beginning 
of 1893 there were seventy-five of these iuternats, 
giving homes to about a thousand school-ehikken 
between the ages of six and thirteen. Under the new 
ten-franc and twenty-franc monthly rates, the num- 
ber has increased very materially, and in 1894 the 
municipality appropriated approximately one million 
francs to pay its share of the cost of placing some 
two thousand children in the internats nrimaires. 



The municipal council and the educational author- 
ities have recognized the necessity of regular physical 
culture as well as of outdoor sport and recreation ; and 
they have made the gymnasium, under professional 
instruction, a universal feature of the Paris schools. 
Manual training, also, in the use of common tools has 
been recognized for its educational value and for its 
practical bearings, and there are nearly 150 ateliers 
or workshops connected with the boys' elementary 
schools, in which regular instruction is given. Mean- 
while, the girls receive corresponding instruction in 
needlework and the domestic arts. 

An attempt is made to give very special attention to 
music in all the elementary schools. But it is the sys- 
tem of instruction in drawing and design that is most 
noteworthy. No effort or expense is spared to awaken 
the art instinct and to develop some degree of tech- 
nical skill in the future artisans of Paris. 

But it is in the continuation schools that the practical 
purpose of the municipal authorities is most plainly 
evident. Manual training, the rudiments of design, 
familiarity with common tools, these can be taught 
in the primary schools ; and Paris since about 1880 
has expended many millions of francs in establishing 
these new departures in elementary education. From 
the primary school the pupil may at thirteen go into 
a trade as an apprentice, and provision is made for the 
continuance of his studies either in half -day classes or 
in night-schools. If he is destined for a scholar, for a 
place in the civil service, or for a calling that requires 
further intellectual training, he may go into one of the 
faoles primaires suptrieures, or public high schools. 
These are admirable institutions, which need no de- 
scription here. But if, on the other hand, the pupil 
be destined for a skilled trade, there is ready for him 
a series of magnificent {coles professionnettes munici- 
Sj which furnish technical education of the most 


The gymna- 
sium in all 

School work- 
shop for 

Music and 

The high 





The special 


Relation of 


schools to 



desirable character, adapted directly to the trades that 
are prosperously domiciled iu Paris. One of these 
schools (Ecole Diderot) is devoted to the group of 
trades that pertain to the working of wood and iron ; 
another (iScole Bernard-Palissy) to the decorative arts 
i. e. 9 to the application of fine arts to industry ; still an- 
other to the trades that rest upon applications of chem- 
istry and physics ; another to the furniture and uphol- 
stering industry; another includes all such callings 
as printing, lithography, bookbinding, photography, 
photogravure, and the many new mechanical branches 
of the reproductive arts; and there are still others. 
Besides the group of technical schools for boys, there 
are several for girls, in which dressmaking, millinery, 
and various other industrial arts, as well as the do- 
mestic ones, are thoroughly taught. 

American and English visitors at the Exposition of 
1889 will remember the remarkable display of the 
Paris industrial schools, especially in lines of deco- 
rative manufacture and art. It is in these schools 
that Parisian dressmakers, milliners, artificial-flower 
makers, furniture designers, house decorators, skilled 
workers in metals, and handicraftsmen in scores of 
lines of industry are educated to do the things that 
keep Paris prosperous and rich. The Exposition of 
the year 1900 will have much more to present; for 
these technical schools are constantly improving un- 
der the fostering care of the municipal government. 
It is public money wisely spent that maintains such 
an educational system. I need not refer to the higher 
schools of science, of classics and literature, and of 
engineering. All the flowers of civilization are en- 
couraged by the Paris municipality. 

No complete impression of the extent to which in- 
struction in the practical arts is carried by the Pari- 
sians could be given without some mention of the great 



number of popular societies and non-governmental 
agencies which are engaged in furthering the scientific, 
commercial, and industrial education of adult workers. 
Some of the largest of these societies for example, 
the Association Philotechnique are subsidized by the 
city council. This particular association, founded in 
1848, enjoys in its free night courses the unremuner- 
ated services of more than five hundred accomplished 
professors drawn from the various higher educational 
institutions that are centered at Paris. The state and 
the municipality give the use of school buildings, and 
various public bodies make grants and donations to 
aid the cause. More than ten thousand adult workers 
are taught every year in the admirable special courses 
of the Philotechnique. Then there must be mentioned 
the Association Poly technique, which is more indepen- 
dently conducted by the workingmen themselves, and 
which has about twenty-five sections in Paris, with 
more than four hundred courses, taught by talented 
men of all callings and professions, who are glad to 
give their services. The Union Francjaise de la Jeu- 
nesse, a third of these associations, enjoys official aid 
and recognition, and carries on several hundred classes 
in Paris every year. And besides these there are scores 
of smaller societies whose educational work in the ag- 
gregate counts for a great deal. Thus, scores of thou- 
sands of the working-people of Paris are enjoying some 
measure of instruction that tends to improve the ar- 
tistic and technical character of their products. 

In many industrial neighborhoods of Paris there 
have been opened, since 1886, special workingmen's 
libraries of industrial art. Lecture courses are pro- 
vided in connection with these libraries, and costly 
works are loaned to artisans for home study. The 
experiment is accounted a most satisfactory one in 
its results. It is under direct municipal management. 


societies for 
technical in- 







Other kin- 
dred move- 

Libraries of 






Activity in 
the library 

The school 

The sixty-six 

Central li- 

Indeed, in few directions has the municipality of 
Paris been more active during the past decade than 
in the promotion of libraries. Paris happens to con- 
tain, besides the national library, two or three great 
reference collections of books ; and the recent move- 
ment has not been so much in the direction of central- 
ized aggregations as in that of convenient small libra- 
ries, with reading-rooms, scattered throughout the city. 
The schools are all supplied with their own libraries, 
of which more or less use is made by parents as well 
as scholars. In every school building there is a collec- 
tion of the reference books that teachers are supposed 
to need ; then a second collection embraces works of 
reference for pupils, while a third department of the 
school libraries includes carefully chosen books to be 
lent to the pupils for home reading. 

But the notable thing has been the development of 
the system of free municipal libraries for popular use 
in all the quarters of Paris. , In 1878 there were about 
a half-dozen municipal libraries kept in the mairie 
buildings of as many different arrondissements. But 
they were little known and scarcely frequented at all. 
It was in that year that the central municipal author- 
ities determined to make Paris a city of public libra- 
ries. In a year or two each arrondissement had be- 
come an active library center, and the policy of opening 
additional public libraries and reading-rooms in the 
school buildings was then adopted. In 1883 these mu- 
nicipal libraries numbered twenty-six, while in 1893 
they had grown to the remarkable number of sixty- 
six. They are open in the evening and at other hours 
convenient for working-people, and they have become 
a powerful factor in the educational and home life of 
the Parisian people. 

A central bureau exercises general oversight, and 
keeps the library system in harmony; while local 


boards in every arrondissement exercise ordinary CHAP. i. 
control, select the books to be purchased, and pro- 
mote the general usefulness of the libraries of their 
own district. The local maire, his adjuncts, the four 
members of the municipal council from the arron- . .. 

r Arrondisse- 

dissement, certain school and other officials, and a ment boards. 
group of appointed citizens form the arrondissement 
library board. 

There are, besides the municipal libraries, about 
twenty useful free public libraries under the auspices 
of a private association, which are partly supported 
by yearly grants from the municipal treasury. Thus, uinwy sys- 

. J . **- ... . . ., i., tern summed 

including the libraries of industrial art, which are up- 
under full municipal control, the Paris authorities 
are in possession of a system of about one hundred 
small but exceedingly useful free lending libraries, 
domiciled in every part of the city. These have by 
no means begun to approach the maximum of their 
influence, for the Parisians are only now forming the 
habit of library patronage; but they are lending more 
than two million volumes a year, of which less than 
half are works of fiction. 

The policy of municipal Paris for the promotion 
of the fine arts might well be studied by the practical 
administrators of other countries. It has not been 
easy for English cities, and it has been still more Parisian poi- 

i A* i * A * -i j i i i c y toward 

difficult for American municipalities, to perceive the the flue arts. 
immense commercial benefits that may accrue from a 
generous cultivation of the esthetic arts. The na- 
tional French government maintains its world-famed 
art-schools; the Parisian local authorities patronize 
art in a variety of ways; the greatest artists and 
most accomplished connoisseurs are brought into the 
service of the national or the municipal government 
as members of commissions which supervise art in- 
struction, pass upon plans for the architecture and 



CHAP. i. decoration of public buildings, award prizes in art 
competitions, select pictures for public galleries, and 
pass judgment upon designs for public monuments 
or statues. 

The appearance of great activity in all these mat- 
ters has naturally enough created an impression in 
preeminence the minds of foreign visitors that French public 

mart BUS- r 

taincd at expenditure on account of the beaux-arts must be 

small ex- * 11.1-1 mi 

pense. upon an extremely lavish scale. This impression, 
however, is wholly erroneous. It is a very moderate 
demand, comparatively, that art makes upon the pub- 
lic revenues. The conspicuous results are due to the 
fact of a continuous policy, which is so wisely ad- 
justed that a yearly minimum of cash outlay results 
in a maximum of encouragement to art, and suffices 
to turn the balance in favor of Paris as the art center 
of the world. 

Before 1870 the municipal credit of 250,000 francs 
a year for the encouragement of art was, for the most 

fum?. a part, expended upon pictures or other adornments 
for the great churches of Paris. But since the es- 
tablishment of the republic a broader policy has been 
pursued. Especially since 1880 there has been a 
wonderful outburst of enthusiasm and of genius in 
the painting of appropriate mural designs for the 
series of civic buildings. The mairie buildings of 
the twenty arrondissements in which, as I have 
already explained, the administrative tasks of the 
municipality have their working centers have, for 
the most part, been rebuilt or enlarged since 1872 ; 
de- an( * ^ fine-art fund has secured for them many 
n teworthy mural paintings of historical or allegori- 
cal significance, the subjects being suggested by the 
local surroundings, or by the uses of the rooms deco- 
rated. In like manner the school-buildings are re- 
receiving noble decoration, and every worthy phase 



Mode of ex- 

of the life and history of Paris, ancient and modern, CHAP. i. 
is finding expression on the walls of public buildings. 
The artists are commissioned under circumstances 
which, while helping many a rising young artist to 
gain position and prestige, also secure the largest 
possible amount and variety of work for the sum 
that has been set aside. Of course the greatest of 
the French painters have been glad to put their ser- 
vices at the command of the authorities, for very 
modest compensation, to aid in decorating the new 
H6tel de Ville, the new Sorbonne, and other of the 
chief public buildings. The sculptors have been no 
less constantly recognized, by similar methods. A 
certain sum is always expended every year by the 
municipal authorities in the purchase of new works 
from the various salons and exhibitions. 

It was in 1816 that the municipal service of the 
fine arts was established, and in 1875 it was deter- A municipal 
mined to prepare and publish an inventory, or ex- 
planatory catalogue, of the works of fine art of all 
kinds that had been accumulated by the municipality. 
That catalogue had, up to 1892, cost more than one 
hundred thousand francs, and it still calls for a 
yearly appropriation. A number of magnificent vol- 
umes have appeared in the series, and an inspection 
of them would convey some faint idea of the mar- 
velous wealth of art objects and architectural monu- 
ments that has accrued to the Parisian community 
through a policy of encouragement and acquisition 
intelligently followed for eighty years. 

This willingness to spend some thousands of francs 
to record the history of the fine-art development of 
Paris is, indeed, characteristic of a general policy 
that was entered upon some years ago. The service 
known as that of the Travaux Historiques was begun 
in the decade before the war with Germany. But it 

art inven- 

The "Tra- 
vaux His- 




Carna valet 

rative tab- 

The "Gen- 
eral History 
of Paris." 

of the under- 

was not until after the war that it took its present 
form as one of the regular branches of the municipal 
administration. This service comprises three princi- 
pal parts. First, it maintains the Carnavalet museum 
and library, devoted to the preservation of objects of 
archaeological value, and to the collection of manu- 
scripts and books pertaining to the history of Paris. 
Second, it has charge of the preparation and erec- 
tion of commemorative tablets, of which a hundred 
or more have been placed since 1879, to mark his- 
torical spots like the site of the Bastille, or to designate 
houses or localities associated with the names of fa- 
mous men. Third, it promotes investigations in spe- 
cial fields of Parisian history and publishes the results. 
It is this third function of the historical service 
that is most noteworthy. I have endeavored, in my 
account of the work of the Paris municipality in the 
period since 1873, to make it clear that its devotion 
has not been solely or chiefly to ostentatious material 
projects, to boulevards, ornate facades, or showy 
monuments. But nothing, as it would seem to me, 
more satisfactorily illustrates the thorough and gen- 
uine quality of the civilization that dominates these 
Parisian circles of government than the faithful sup- 
port for more than twenty years given to the scholars 
and savants who are preparing L'Histoire G6n6rale 
de Paris." Especially to be praised are their noble vol- 
umes devoted to the Paris of 1789, so invaluable in 
their preservation for future ages of the facts con- 
cerning the streets, buildings, and manifold condi- 
tions of the city at the beginning of the Revolution. 
But many elaborate studies relating to earlier periods 
in the history of Paris have also been published, and 
each year adds two or three new ones to a collection 
that now numbers perhaps fifty volumes. From 1873 
to 1896 the municipal council had appropriated about 


two million francs for the carrying out of this scheme CHAP. i. 
of historical inquiry and publication. The money 
has not been extravagantly spent, and the project 
has been creditable to the Parisian sense of muni- 
cipal dignity and historical pride. 

These historical labors are, for administrative pur- 
poses, brought under the auspices of the same bureau 
that is charged with the service of fine arts. The 
general chapter-heading of "Architecture and Fine 
Arts" in the yearly budget includes outlays for a 
number of services that are grouped together in the 
practical organization of the prefect's executive staff. 
Under this category falls the yearly outlay of 300,000 outlay for 
francs for the celebration of the national holiday, Tioiiday"* 1 
July 14 ; a subvention for the encouragement of musi- 
cal compositions is also included ; and to indicate the 
wide and catholic range of the municipal patronage, 
it should be mentioned that through this bureau is 
expended the 70,000 francs which the council votes 
every year as its contribution toward the encourage- 

? * i ,/,-! i T r i Subscription 

ment of horse-racing, most of this sum being devoted to the 

to the well-known Grand Prix de Paris, to which the 
municipality has subscribed since 1872. 

The value of a thoroughly-organized statistical ser- 
vice can be appreciated, perhaps, by some practical 
minds which would hesitate to approve the expendi- 
ture of municipal funds upon recondite historical 
inquiries. The statistical office of Paris until recent cai bureau. 
years was not as highly developed or as well sup- 
ported as it ought to have been ; and even yet it does 
not occupy so conspicuous a position in the adminis- 
trative life and work as, for example, that of Berlin. 
But it has attained an excellent standing, and its 
reports are admirable examples of statistical com- 
pilation. A distinguished specialist is chief of the 
statistical office, and he is supported by a commis- 



CHAP. i. sion whose members appreciate the important rela- 
tion that statistical science must henceforth bear to 
progress in every field of public administration. 1 

As the foregoing description of municipal develop- 
ments and activities has proceeded from one point to 
another, it has been made plain that immense finan- 
jjai 6 finances. cia ^ operations were involved. The projects which 
have been reviewed in these pages could not have 
been accomplished without the accumulation of a 
vast municipal debt. Nor could the current expenses 
of so elaborate an administration be met without the 
collection of a very generous yearly revenue. It re- 
mains therefore for rne to give some account of the 
financial condition and methods of the Parisian 

The debt of Paris amounts at the present time to 
A debt of nearly two billion francs. This huge obligation is 

two billion , _ . , . , . , /- 

francs. represented by the great public works of Paris, in- 
cluding the modern system of streets and boulevards, 
the water-supply, the drainage works, the parks and 

1 Dr. Jacques Bertillon is chief of the Paris statistical service. 
It may be of interest to present the list of members of the com- 
mission, not only because of what it reveals as to the distin- 
guished character of the men who serve upon this important 
board, but also because it represents very fairly the personal qual- 
lity of many other advisory boards and commissions, that are 
bringing the highest professional abilities into the service of mu- 
nicipal Pans. The following twenty-eight gentlemen constituted 
in 1894 the Commission de Statistique Municipale : Eugene Rene 
Poubolle, preset de la Seine ; Leon David Bruman, secretaire 
general de la prefecture de la Seine ; Jacques Bertillon, docteur 
en medecine, chef des travaux de la statistique municipale ; M. 
Bezangon, chef de division a la prefecture de police ; Adolphe 
Bloch, docteur en medeeine, medecin-adjoint de la prefecture de 
la Seine; M. Chautemps, docteur en medecine, depute de la 
Seine ; Arthur Chervin, docteur en mMecine ; M. Cheysson, in- 
specteur gnral des ponts-et-chaussees, professeur a Fficole des 
Sciences Politiques; Jean Jules Clamageran, s&iateur; fimile 
Ferry, maire du IXe arrondissement, ancien depute de la Seine 


their improvement, the new H6tel de Ville, the pre- CHAP. i. 
fectoral and mairie buildings, several hundred new 
school-buildings, many other pieces of public archi- 
tecture, the magnificent embankments of the river 
Seine, the series of beautiful and indestructible 
bridges, the great markets and entrepots, including 
the municipal slaughter-houses and cattle-yards, and 
a host of other investments of a permanent and credi- 
table nature, many of which I have already described. 
The critics of the financial policy pursued under the 
prefecture of Baron Haussmann have brought to- 
gether an array of facts and arguments which show 
it to be undoubtedly true that extravagance and cor- 
ruption to some extent characterized the methods of 
that period of rapid transformation and of accom- Tiie question 

. _ of extra va- 

panyiug excitement and speculation. Nevertheless, 
I am of opinion that the modernization of Paris has, 
in the main, been soundly and ably financiered, and 
that no very appreciable percentage of the outstand- 

M. Girard, chef du laboratoire municipal de chimie ; M. Jacques, 
depute* de la Seine ; Jean Adrien Jaubert, docteur en mdecine, 
inspecteur de la verification des deces ; Pierre Francois Rene 
Lafabreque, ancien directeur de 1'Hospice des Enf ants- Assisted; 
Alfred Martial Lamouroux, docteur en in^decine, membre du 
conseil municipal de Paris ; M. Lemoijie, ing^nieur en chef des 
ponts-et-chaussees ; Angustin Henri Antonin Le Roux, directeur 
des affaires dSpartementales a la prefecture de la Seine ; fimile 
Levasseur, membre de FInstitut ; Toussaint Loua, ancien chef 
du bureau de la statistique g6nerale de France au ministere du 
commerce ; Marie Georges Hippolyte Martin, docteur en m6de- 
cine, ancien s&iateur; M. Mascart, directeur du bureau central 
meteorologique ; Georges Pallain, conseiller d'etat, directeur au 
ministere des finances ; Alphonse Pelletier, directeur honoraire 
de ^administration gn6rale a la prefecture de la Seine ; M. Pi- 
cot, juge de paix du 111 arrondissement ; Georges Renaud, di- 
recteur de la "Revue Geographique Internationale " ; Jules 
Adolphe Socquet, docteur en m^decine ; Jules Worms, medecin 
honoraire de la prefecture de la Seine ; fimile Contant, sous-chef 
du service de la statistique municipale. 




The great 



Method of 


Average in- 
terest rate. 

ing debt can be chargeable to gross mistakes or im- 
proprieties. At any rate, the modern Paris is worth 
to its people every franc that it has cost. 

The municipal debt affords the thrifty citizen the 
most popular form of investment for his savings. 
The method of issue may be briefly explained. Hav- 
ing decided upon the general policy to be pursued in 
the construction of public works for a few years to 
come, the administration obtains authority to borrow 
a prescribed amount, usually in several yearly instal- 
ments. Thus in 1886 it was decided to raise a new 
loan of 277,000,000 francs, and in 1892 another loan 
of 200,000,000 was further determined upon. The 
loan of 1886, it was decided, should consist of about 
seven hundred thousand shares of 400 francs value 
each, to be issued from time to time during a period 
of eleven years. 

The terms and circumstances of each approaching 
issue are duly advertised, and opportunity is given 
to every one to subscribe at the inairies of the twenty 
arrondissements. It invariably happens that the 
popular subscription for a municipal loan far out- 
runs the amount asked by the authorities. The plan 
of repayment is that of gradual liquidation or amor- 
tizement. A certain number of shares are paid off 
each year, the particular bonds being selected by lot. 
A considerable sum of money is divided as. prizes, 
upon a lottery system, among those whose shares are 
called for liquidation. This premium or prize sys- 
tem, with its element of uncertainty, doubtless adds 
not a little to the popularity of the municipal loans. 
The amounts set aside for prizes are of course care- 
fully calculated, and they are to be considered as in 
effect a portion of the interest charge. Including 
the premiums, the entire Parisian loan is now out- 
standing at an average yearly interest of about three 


and one half per cent., the more recent issues being CHAP. i. 
at a somewhat lower rate. 

As a criticism of the French system of prize draw- 
ings it may be urged that, while municipal loans objections 

. . , i , *. i i T -i -i j. 11 i to the prize 

certainly ought to be subdivided into small shares so drawings. 
that they may be available as an investment for the 
savings of industrious citizens, there ought to be 
no devices connected with the issue which would 
tend to make the development of public debt unduly 
popular, thus militating against a severe scrutiny of 
public expenditures. If municipal bonds were not so 
popularly sought after as an investment, the authori- 
ties of Paris would perhaps be compelled to carry 
on the public business with a considerably smaller 
amount of borrowed capital than they are now using. 
The great loans (emprunts) of Paris upon which 
payments are still due, and which therefore enter 
into the outstanding volume of public debt, may 

, -j. i j. j Outstanding 

well be recapitulated. loans. 

The loan authorized by the law of May 2, 1855, 
consisted of 150,000 shares emitted at 400 francs each 
and payable at 500 each, the principal of the debt be- 
ing thus 75,000,000 francs. It was payable in semi- The lomi of 
annual instalments, beginning in 1858 and running 1855 
through forty years. Bach outstanding share draws 
as interest 15 francs a year ; and at each semi-annual 
calling in of shares* there are distributed by lot 150,000 
francs in fifteen prizes. Thus up to January 1, 1895, 
there had been canceled 131,595 of the original 150,- 
000 shares, and 65,797,500 francs of the principal had 
been extinguished, while 56,936,976 francs of interest 
money and 11,850,000 in prizes had been paid out. 
On the first day of September, 1897, the last payments 
will have been made, and thus the loan of 1855 will 
be wholly extinguished. These details will mate clear 
the modus operand! of all the Parisian loans. 


CHAP. i. The next great loan was authorized by the law of 
August 1, 1860. Its nominal capital was 143,809,000 

Loan of isco. francs, consisting of 287,618 shares emitted at 475 
francs and payable at 500, and of 122,785 shares 
emitted at 450 and payable at 500. The conditions as 
to interest, drawings, and premiums were the same as 
in the preceding loan, except that the whole amount 
was to be liquidated in 37 years after September 1, 
1860. This provides its final extinction upon the very 
same date (September 1, 1897) as that of the loan of 
Five years later, in July, 1865, a loan of 300,000,000 

Loan of 1865. francs was authorized, to be issued in 600,000 shares 
at 450 francs each and payable at 500, liquidation to 
begin in 1869 and to be completed on February 1, 
1929. These shares earn 20 francs each per annum 
as interest, and 1,140,000 francs per annum is the 
bonus distributed by lot. 

The next loan was also one of approximately 300,- 
000,000 francs, and it was authorized in April, 1869. 

Loan of i860. The issue comprised 753,623 shares, sold at 345 francs 
each but payable at 400, and amortization began in 
July, 1869, and will extend through a 40-year term to 
July, 1909. The prizes allotted are fifteen each quarter, 
or sixty per annum, and they amount to 1,000,000 
francs a year, the interest being at the rate of 12 
francs a year on each share. 

A law of September, 1871, authorized a great loan 
of about 510,000,000 francs. This was a time when 

Loan of i87i. French credit was strained by war; and the 400-franc 
shares (nearly 1,300,000 in number) were emitted at 
270 francs, the interest being 12 francs, and the prize 
drawings amounting to 1,500,000 a year in 352 dif- 
ferent prizes. This loan was to be paid off in 300 
quarterly instalments, covering the 75 years from 
1872 to 1946. 


The loan authorized in December, 1874, was for the CHAP. i. 
nominal sum of 250,000,000 francs, and was to be 
amortized in the period from 1875 to 1950. There Loanofi874. 
were issued 500,000 separate obligations of a face 
value of 500 francs (marketed at 480 francs), drawing 
an annual interest of 20 francs, and having the usual 
prize-drawing features. 

In 1876, a new loan of 129,000,000 was sanctioned, 
in 500-franc shares emitted at 465 francs, with an- 
nual interest of 20 francs, an amortization period of 
73 years, and 500,000 francs each year as prizes. 

A law of 1886 authorized a loan of 277,500,000 francs, 
to be issued in instalments during a period of 11 years, 
and to be repayable through 75 years after 1897. The 
shares (nearly seven hundred thousand in number) are 
of the 400-franc denomination, and have been emitted 
at prices ranging from 375 to 384 francs. They draw 
12 francs yearly interest, and the annual prize money 
is 1,000,000 francs. 

The most recent of the great Paris loans was author- 
ized by a law of July, 1892, the capital amount being 
200,000,000. It was to be issued in several instalments 
and to be repaid in the usual way during a long period, 
with prize drawings. The popular demand for these 
shares has been great enough to float a loan twenty 
times as large, 

A debt of about 283,000,000 francs to the Cr&lit 

Foncier was, under terms of an arrangement which Debt to the 
,. . .,--- , _ , ,, n n , credit Fun- 
became effective in 1880, reduced to the form of a loan cier. 

to be repaid in 117 semi-annual payments of 6,000,000 
francs each, this sum covering interest and a portion 
of the principal. The Credit Foncier, which may be 
characterized as a national mortgage or land bank, 
had made heavy advances to the municipality in fur- 
therance of the Haussmann-Napoleon expenditures; 
and the debt has now taken the form mentioned above. 




CHAP. i. From time to time important public works have 

been constructed for Paris by firms or companies 

other amrni- which received their pay in the form of annuities run- 

standing. ning through a long period. This plan, also, has been 

pursued in the purchase of the plants of suburban 

water companies. About 144,000,000 francs of indebt- 

edness has been thus incurred since 1855, about 80,000,- 

000 of which remained outstanding in 1895. 

Summing up the various issues of interest-bearing 
obligations, it appears that from 1855 to 1895 the 
municipality had borrowed, in round figures, 2,400,- 
000,000 francs, of which at the beginning of 1895 
there remained outstanding 1,850,000,000. The ex- 
tinction of the principal has of late proceeded at the 
rate of about 30,000,000 francs a year, nearly 80,000,- 
000 more being required for interest and prizes. 

The municipal expenditures for the year 1894 
amounted in round figures to somewhat more than 
three hundred and thirty-six million francs. This 
sum included nearly fifty million francs raised by 
loans for what are considered as extraordinary ex- 
penses ; that is to say, for the cost of various perma- 
nent improvements. The ordinary expenses for the 
year 1894 were 287,000,000 francs. Of this amount 
a little more than one hundred and nine million 
francs was required to meet charges upon the pub- 
lie debt. It will be seen that the public debt occa- 
sions a yearly outlay amounting to nearly two fifths 
of the total ordinary expenditure. The several items 
of administrative outlay occupy almost the same rela- 
tive position from year to year. The largest is always 
that of the prefecture of police. As I have already 
explained, the police administration covers a number 
of minor services besides the business of the police 
force proper. The total budget of the police depart- 
ment somewhat exceeds twenty-nine million francs. 




It should be remembered that about ten million five 
hundred thousand francs, or somewhat more than 
one third the cost of the police administration, is 
met by a subvention from the national treasury. 
The public schools and the work of public charity 
(assistance publique) are next in importance as 
spending departments, and entail about equal annual 
charges upon the municipal treasury. Each of these 
services for the year 1894 required appropriations of 
approximately twenty-six million francs. They had 
cost in 1892 a little more than twenty-four million 
francs each. The recent tendency seems to be an in- 
crease for each of these departments of about a million 
francs a year. The appropriation of 1894 for street 
services (voie publique), including paving, cleansing, 
and some other items, reached a total of about 
twenty-three million seven hundred thousand francs. 
The same item, in 1892 was a little in excess of 
twenty-one million francs. This did not include the 
care of the parks and parkways and the item of 
public illumination, which, taken together, entail a 
constant yearly charge of approximately twelve 
million francs. 1 

Out of a total ordinary income for 1894 of approxi- 
mately two hundred and eighty-seven million francs, 
less than thirty-three million five hundred thousand 
francs were secured by direct taxation. Nearly one 
hundred and fifty million five hundred thousand 
francs were collected from the octroi. In a following 
chapter I shall give some account of the octroi sys- 
tem in general as prevailing in France. It may 
suffice, therefore, to remark at this point that the 
octroi dues are local customs collected upon various 

iFor other items of municipal outlay, see the condensed 
budget for 1894 in tabulated form which appears in the appen- 
dix of this volume. 


Bills for 
schools and 
for chanty. 

Cost of street 

Parks and 

Sources of 

Octroi sys- 


CHAP. i. classes of commodities brought into a city for con- 
sumption. The articles usually taxed in this man- 
ner are standard necessities of life, including provi- 
sions, beverages, and building materials. The statis- 
tics of the Paris octroi for a recent year show that 
48,000,000 francs were collected upon wines, and 
more than sixteen millions upon alcoholic and dis- 

Articles * 

from winch tilled liquors the total amount under this general 

octroi dues . . 

are collected, schedule of diinks (boissons) exceeding sixty-five 
million francs. Upon vinegars, oils, essences, and 
liquids other than beverages, more than seventeen 
million francs were collected. The amount upon 
meats was approximately twenty million francs, this 
general category being swelled to 33,000,000 francs 
by the inclusion of fish, oysters, butter, cheese, and 
eggs. Upon articles of fuel, including wood, coal, 
charcoal, etc., nearly fourteen million francs were 
collected, while as much more was levied upon lum- 
ber and various building materials. Other articles 
chiefly bulky substances such as provender for 
horses accounted for several million francs in ad- 
dition to the amounts mentioned, making a total of 
octroi receipts in excess of one hundred and fifty 
million francs. 

It may be noted that it costs somewhat more than 
nine million francs to maintain the Parisian octroi 

cost of oc- administration. The criticism is sometimes urged 

troi admin- .,,., . . , . . , . 

istration. that the expense of the system is excessive ; but 6 per 
cent, would perhaps be absorbed in the cost of levy, 
collection,, and accounting if an equal sum were to 
be obtained by some other method. In defense of 
the octroi it may be remarked that the people of 
Paris, as of many other continental cities, are accus- 
tomed to this indirect mode of contributing to muni- 
cipal revenues, and a majority of them would prob- 
ably prefer it to any system of direct taxation. 



Further, let it be borne in mind that the direct taxes 
levied by the national government itself fall very 
heavily upon property and upon almost every kind 
of business. In the succeeding chapter I shall de- 
scribe the French system of direct taxes, under which 
the local authorities raise a portion of their revenue 
by adding a certain rate for municipal purposes to 
the general rate levied by the national government. 
If the octroi dues fall largely upon the masses of the 
people as consumers, it is to be remembered that the 
municipal revenues are expended for their particular 

In the budget of 1894 the sum of 33,368,300 francs 
is credited to the municipality's share in the levy of 
direct taxes, this amount being collected with the 
taxes of the national government and paid over to 
the municipal treasury. Deducting the receipts from 
the octroi and from direct taxes, there remains 103,- 
000,000 francs of ordinary revenue derived from 
other sources. The receipts of the water department 
amount to nearly 16,000,000 francs, and the public 
revenue from the gas company is almost as large. 
About 10,500,000 francs comes from the national trea- 
sury as a contribution toward the expense of the 
police department. More than 8,000,000 francs is 
received as gross income from the public markets; 
more than 6,000,000 accrues from the sums paid to 
the city by street railway, omnibus, and cab compa- 
nies; and from 2,000,000 francs to 4,000,000 francs 
each is received from (1) the abattoirs, (2) the en- 
trepdts, (3) the cemeteries, (4) the rental of minor 
street privileges. 

It has perhaps been made sufficiently clear, in my 
account of the various departments of administra- 
tion, that a constant increase of municipal revenue 

CHAP. i. 

taxes? c 


CHAP. i. from franchises, concessions, and the direct public 
management of productive enterprises, may reason- 

dai poi/cy?" ably be expected in the future. It would seem both 
feasible and wise that during the next twenty years 
the finance authorities of Paris should pursue a con- 
servative policy, husbanding the public resources, 
developing to the utmost the revenue from monopo- 
lies and concessions, and resisting the temptation to 
add much to the volume of bonded debt. The pro- 
posed abolition of the belt of fortifications would be 
attended by a large outlay for streets, boulevards, 
and parkways. But it ought to be possible to make 
the sale of private building-sites yield a fund large 
enough to pay the entire cost of the execution of a 
splendid programme of public works in the zone now 
occupied by the wall, moat, and glacis. 

To sum up the financial position of Paris, it must 
be admitted that the per capita of public debt is 
large, and the per capita of ordinary annual municipal 
Large pub- expenditure also formidable. Over against this bur- 
den of expense, however, must be placed the long 
series of substantial benefits that the municipality 
confers upon its citizens. In view of the very high 
average density of the population, the Parisians are 
peculiarly dependent upon public services of various 
kinds. The well-paved and well-cleansed streets are 
essential to comfort and health. Brilliant public 
illumination, well-shaded streets and boulevards, in 
fact, all the agencies of civilization that the munici- 
pality supplies, are of the highest value to the people. 
If a large percentage of the wealth of the community 
* s absorbed into the public treasury, that wealth is, 
u P n *h e whole, disbursed in such a way as to pro- 
duce results more valuable to society, and in most 
cases more valuable to the individuals concerned, 
than could possibly have been secured by private ex- 


penditure. Public exactions in Paris have not tended CHAP. i. 
to exhaust the sources of private wealth. On the 
contrary, the municipal government has been con- 
spicuously successful in fostering the industrial and 
commercial activities of the Parisian people, whose 
prosperity is shown by their unfailing ability and 
readiness to invest in municipal and other interest- 
bearing securities, no less than by the fact of a mil- 
lion individual savings-bank accounts in a population 
of less than three million souls. 

The experience of Paris, candidly studied, ought to 
convince the most skeptical that there is no modern 
community of civilized men which cannot afford to 
provide, for its areas of dense population, the most per- Lessons from 

j. T!T j. J/L i j. i_ i j A.* a Parisian 

feet public appointments that technical and scientific experience. 
knowledge have discovered and prescribed. Well- 
made and clean streets, good water, proper drainage, 
convenient transit facilities, complete schools, thor- 
ough sanitary organization, these at least should be 
considered the irreducible minimum. No city should 
think itself rich enough to prosper without them, 
and no city is so poor that it cannot afford them if 
it has any reason whatever for continued existence. 
But further than this indispensable minimum, any 
city might hopefully bend its energies toward the 
acquisition of the finest flowers and fruits of culture 
and art. Paris has exemplified these propositions 
with an unfaltering faith in science, in art, and in 
civilization that deserves our homage. 



ITH the great revolution of 1789 there came 
two sweeping changes in the municipal and 
local administration of France. One was the estab- 
Theiegisia- lishment of popular self-government, or home-rule. 

of i789-9o! s The other was the substitution of a perfectly regular 
and uniform system for the intricate and anomalous 
methods under which no two communities could be 
said to possess identical institutions. Every feature 
of the old organizations was effaced in order that a 
fresh beginning might be made upon logical prin- 
ciples. The new administrative scheme created by the 
acts of the Constituent Assembly in December, 1789, 
and January, 1790, strongly resembled, in its sim- 
plicity and its geometrical sense of relationship and 
proportion, the lucid and regular rules of local govern- 
ment that the legislators of our trans-Mississippi 
States found it easy to lay down where the checker- 
board lines of the congressional land survey had given 
territorial uniformity to school-district, township and 

It is true that nothing quite so radical was at- 
tempted in France as a territorial reshaping on geo- 

The forty metrical lines of the primarv units of administra- 

thousand old ,. m , , " , . , ., 

communes, tion. The ancient communes, ot which there were 
nearly forty thousand spread like a network over the 
land, had to be treated as permanent and irreducible 



political atoms. There was a sense of distinct identity CHAP. n. 
and of immemorial continuity in these communes, 
many of which were cities, towns or villages, while 
most of them were petty rural parishes or hamlets, 
that withstood all shocks of revolution. The best 
minds of the revolutionary period seem clearly to 
have recognized the advantages of an autonomous 
neighborhood life, and to have considered the ancient Permanent 
French commune, with its own domain of lands, high- ^S? 1 
ways, and buildings, its local maintenance of order 
and dispensation of petty justice, its administration 
of relief and charity, and all its microcosmic life, as 
the very foundation-stone of a true political structure. 

But although the old communes themselves were, 
as a rule, left without territorial revision, the 
larger administrative divisions of France were radi- 
cally altered. There had been thirty-two old-time The ancient 
provinces, in each of which the royal authority had pr iSnce. f 
been represented by a functionary known as the in- 
tendant. He in his turn was represented in subdivi- 
sions of the province by officials entitled subdSMgwfy. 
The provincial and local life of France had been sub- 
ject to the almost unlimited domination of these 
agents of the central authority, whose hand was at 
once against the nobility of the regions to which they 
were assigned, and against the bourgeoisie that com- 
posed the old municipal corporations. 

The lawmakers of 1789 abolished at once the prov- 
inces and the intendants. They reparceled France 

into departments, eighty-nine in number, endeavoring 

, , r , , ji j. / i i The ncw de - 

to make the departments as nearly equal in area as cir- partments. 

cumstances would permit, due account being made of 
population density, and of the location of chief towns. 
The departments were subdivided into districts, each 
district being composed of a very large group of T tiicts? 
adjacent communes. It was ordained that the affairs 






tion of com- 
munes by 

of the department should be managed by (1) a popu- 
larly elected Council General, composed of thirty-six 
members, whose functions were to be deliberative; 
and (2) a group of eight executive officers, known as 
the Directory, to be designated by the council gen- 
eral, presumably out of its own membership. The 
districts were provided with a government on the 
same plan. Finally, the communes were accorded a 
simple and uniform method of self-government. At 
that time the suffrage was not made universal, a small 
tax qualification excluding the very poorest classes. 

The qualified voters in every commune or muni- 
cipality, great or small, were authorized to elect a 
mayor and several other executive officers, these to- 
gether constituting what was termed a corps muni- 
cipal. A group of men called Notables were further 
elected for the exercise of deliberative functions. 
These were twice as many as the executive officers. 
The notables and the corps municipal, sitting together 
as one body, formed the council general of the com- 
mune or municipality, the mayor and his executive 
associates being in charge of the active work of ad- 
ministration. The number of officers varied in the 
ratio of the population of the communes, and it was 
thus intended by a sliding scale to give the system 
an automatic adjustment to the large towns on the 
one hand and the small communes on the other. For 
communes having less than five hundred people, of 
which there were a great number in France, it was 
provided that there should be three members of the 
corps municipal, that is, the mayor and two executive 
associates. For more populous localities the member- 
ship of the corps municipal was gradually augmented 
until it reached the maximum number of twenty-one 
for cities having a population exceeding one hundred 
thousand. All ordinary municipal government was 


carried on by the corps municipal, which was further CHAP. n. 
divided into an executive bureau and a council. 

Thus, in a town having a hundred thousand people 
or more, the voters directly chose a mayor and twenty organization 

, , , oj.1 1 O flj1 fa t Wn f 

other members of the municipal corps. Six of the one hundred 
twenty were subsequently designated by the body it- ^eopfe!' 
self as the mayor's assistants and coadjutors in the 
regular work of executive administration. The other 
fourteen were in regular and frequent consultation 
with the seven, forming a governing council for all 
the ordinary affairs of the town. At longer intervals 
the forty-two elected notables were called into session 
with the twenty-one, making a body of sixty-three 
men, who formed the council general of the muni- 

Such was the system promptly created by the Con- 
stituent Assembly, under the impulse of a grand pas- 
sion for the principles of simplicity and uniformity in 
administration, and an equal passion for local auton- 
omy and personal liberty. While it may be criticized wcai rather 
, JIT * j_ i tlian P rac - 

on various accounts, nevertheless it was a masterly ticai. 

piece of legislation. It was, perhaps, too far advanced 
for the actual conditions of French life. However 
that may be, it was destined to undergo most radical 
changes and vicissitudes. Doubtless its chief useful- 
ness lay in its embodiment of high ideals. It has 
taken a hundred years for the French people, through 
various political and administrative experiences, to 
acquire that practical habit of local self-government 
which the municipal laws of 1790 took for granted. 

One of the most serious faults of this legislation 
was its failure to discriminate wisely between urban 
and rural units of local government. Except that the 

i n AT 11 ji / The system 

number of officers was smaller in the communes of too elaborate 
sparse population, the exact scheme of organization 
that was provided for cities and large towns was also 



CHAP. ii. made applicable to all local units down to the popula- 
tion line of five hundred. The communes of less than 
five hundred people were of simpler organization. But 
there were thousands of local-government units in 
France possessing a population of more than five 
hundred and less than five thousand, for which the 
law of 1789-90 provided a cumbrous and over-elabo- 
rate system of administration. The French laws from 
that time until now have never made quite enough 
difference between the government of urban and rural 
communities, although the distinctions have become 
better marked. 

From that period of lawmaking there has survived 
the series of departments, which have become crystal- 
lized into entities as distinct and real as the great 

Permanent . 

results of English counties, while very much more uniform in 
turn otim. size and population. Moreover, throughout the entire 
administrative system of France, there has remained, 
despite all changes of method and of spirit, an un- 
wavering devotion to the principle of system and 
uniformity. I have said that the laws of the Con- 
stituent Assembly exemplified the two great ideas, 
first, of simplicity and uniformity in the structure of 
municipal and local government ; and second, of popu- 
lar home rule on the elective basis. It is this prin- 
ciple of decentralization and local self-responsibility 
lesson of that has been the hard lesson for the French nation 
government, to master. They have not perfectly learned it yet, 
although the experience of a hundred years has begun 
to give them confidence in the principle, and a con- 
siderable measure of ability in applying it. 

In 1795, France having come under the government 
of the Directory, a new administrative system was 
devised which possessed some merits and many de- 
fects. This new legislation is always cited as the 
Constitution du 5 Fructidor, de Van III. (August 22, 


1795). In the departments the elective councils were CHAP. 11. 
abolished, and all functions, both of deliberation and 
of action, were merged in a departmental Directory 
of five members. These directors were elected one 8 y 8tem 1795 - 
each year for five-year terms by all the qualified vot- 
ers of the department. The central Directory of 
the Republic, meanwhile, retained the right to depose 
the departmental directors and to appoint substitutes. 
Under the system of 1790, besides the officers whom I 
have already mentioned, the people of the department 
were empowered to elect a so-called Syndic Procureur, 
who had a voice but not a vote in the departmental 
council, and who was the department's agent and rep- 
resentative in various legal and other relationships. 
This popularly elected officer was now replaced in the 
Directory's system by a so-called Commissaire, who 
was appointed by the national government from Tendency 
among the citizens domiciled in the department, and ^raiizawou" 
whose business it was to oversee the execution of the 
national laws within his territory. Thus, while the 
government of the department still remained largely 
local and representative, it will be readily seen that 
the strong tendency of the system of 1795 was toward 

In place of the districts which the laws of 1789 had 
created as intermediary between the departments and 
the communes, and which had possessed only a limited 
importance, the Directory now substituted a much' creation of 
smaller series of territorial divisions entitled cantons, th tons!" U " 
The cantons were given an incomparably greater im- 
portance than the districts which they replaced. The 
canton comprised an average of about twelve com- 
munes, while the district included perhaps a hundred. 
The function of the canton in the rural regions may 
readily be explained. It was intended to remedy the 
serious mistake in the earlier laws of attempting to 


CHAP. ii. impose an elaborate municipal government upon 

simple agricultural neighborhoods. The full muni- 

Their place cipal organization was now abolished in communes of 

and function ,,, ,, -i -i i .. -ni 

in rural life, less than five thousand inhabitants. Each commune 
of less than this number of people was authorized to 
elect from among its own citizens a municipal agent 
and one adjunct or assistant. All active administra- 
tion in the commune was confided to these two officials. 
But it was the canton, under this regime, which be- 
came the real unit of government. There was estab- 
lished what was known as an administration municipal 
du canton, which was composed of the agents of the 
several communes constituting the cantonal circum- 
scription, together with a President elected by direct 
vote of the qualified electors of the canton. All de- 
liberative functions were intrusted to this body. 

The commune had therefore lost much of its inde- 
pendence, and had in effect become hardly anything 
more than an administrative division of the canton. 
Something very similar has taken place in several of 
our American States, where the county government 
has gained authority at the expense of the township 
parallel, government. Thus the cantonal administration of 
1795 might be considered as reproduced in a western 
county where each township elected a supervisor or 
trustee for the administration of its ordinary affairs, 
and where these township supervisors, coming to- 
gether in session at the county-seat, constituted a 
board of supervisors for the county, under the chair- 
manship of a president of the board elected directly 
by all the voters of the county. 

This system was not wholly bad for the rural parts 
of France. But the Directory, with the French pas- 
sion for logic and symmetry, undertook to assimilate 
cantons. 11 the large towns to the cantonal unit. Each commune 
or municipality having from five thousand to one hun- 



dred thousand people was made a distinct cantonal CHAP. n. 
entity, with an administration of its own composed 
of from five to nine members, according to the size of 
the town or city. These officials were elected by the 
voters of the town, and constituted what might be 
called a board of municipal trustees or directors, in 
whose hands was reposed the exercise of all municipal 
functions, whether deliberative or executive. The sys- 
tem was by no means an absurd one ; and in view of 
the actual conditions of local life prevailing in France 
at that time, it may have been better than the system 
of 1789. 

When the large towns having more than a hundred 
thousand people had to be dealt with, it was deter- 
mined to try the plan of subdividing them into can- 

i j i i -i 1-11 ., i -it. Subdividing 

tons, each of which should have its own board ot large towns. 
directors. Thus, Paris was partitioned into twelve 
municipalites cantonales, while Marseilles and Lyons 
the only other towns which at that time possessed 
more than a hundred thousand inhabitants were 
each cut into three such administrative districts. The 
voters in each of these urban cantons elected a di- 
rectory of seven members, charged with all the duties 
of current administration. In order, however, to pro- 
vide for certain administrative municipal tasks which 
could not be apportioned to these arbitrary divisions, 
some sort of central bureau was requisite; and the 
Directory of the Republic retained in its own hands 
the designation of the members of the central bureau 
for Paris, while for the other two large towns the 
three members of the central municipal bureau were 
designated by the departmental directory, subject to 
confirmation by the national government. 

It should be noted that these cantonal administra- 
tions were subordinated in the exercise of their au- 
thority to the departmental administrations. Thus, 

and central 





of cantons to 

estimate of 
the system. 


system of 


Entrance of 
the prefect. 

the government of the department had a right to nul- 
lify the acts of the cantons and municipalities, and 
also under certain circumstances to suspend the can- 
tonal and municipal officers. But such suspension 
was in turn subject to the approval or disapproval of 
the central government at Paris. This possibility of 
interference by the higher authorities constituted a 
serious limitation upon the regime of local indepen- 
dence which had been ordained five years earlier. 

Let this suffice for a rapid outlining of the admin- 
istrative system of 1795. One is at a loss to describe 
it in such a manner as to make it seem an actual ar- 
rangement and to relieve it from the appearance of 
being altogether artificial and forced. It certainly 
was surcharged with the experimenting audacity of 
the times which gave it birth. Nevertheless it evinces 
some true elements of constructive statesmanship. 
Chiefly, however, it serves to betray the exigencies of 
a situation in the sphere of the higher politics which 
compelled the transient possessors of power to tighten 
their grasp and to strengthen the lines of central 

It remained for the legislation of the year 1800, in- 
spired by Napoleon as Premier Consul, to complete 
the work of centralization. The principle of unity 
and symmetry was retained in all perfection, but the 
principle of local self-government was absolutely re- 
jected. The departmental commissaire, who had been 
selected by the Directory from among the citizens of 
the department, and who had been charged with the 
duty of seeing that the public laws were enforced, 
was transmuted by Napoleon into the Prefect of the 
(lepartment. The prefect was not only charged with 
seeing that the laws were enforced, but he was made 
the sole executive and administrative authority in the 
department. He was appointed for each department 


by the central authority, that is to say, by Napoleon CHAP. n. 
himself. The departmental Council General was re- 
tained as a matter of form, but its elective character 

had disappeared. It was now a mere body of ap- councils i>e- 

-T . . . come ap- 

pointed advisers, varying in number from sixteen to pomtive. 

twenty-four, all of whom were designated by the Pre- 
mier Consul himself, acting of course very largely up- 
on the suggestions of his trusted prefect. There was 
also appointed by the central authority a so-called 
Council of Prefecture, consisting of from three to five 
members, its business being to deal judicially with 
administrative disputes and contentions arising in the 
government of the department or of any of its minor 

The prefect was, in point of fact, the virtual resurrec- 
tion of the intendant of the ancien regime. He was the 
personal agent of the central authority, was a stranger Historical 

-,i - , .L i i i A -i -? diameter of 

in the department which he administered, and be- the prefect. 
longed to the type of nomadic administrative function- 
ary whose prototype is found in the Roman proconsul, 
and whose race has perhaps never been extinct in 
France from the time of the conquest of Gaul to the 
present day. Descending one step from the depart- 
ment and its prefectoral administration, we find the 
old district, practically as created in 1789, now recon- 
stituted under the name of the arrondissement. This 
division, as I have explained, had been abandoned 
by the law of 1795 in favor of the much smaller Appearance 

i- 11 i AI * A i i , of the arron- 

division called the canton. As an administrative dissement. 
division the canton now practically disappeared, al- 
though retained as a judicial district and for certain 
other purposes. In the arrondissement there made ap- 
pearance the sub-prefect, who is altogether analogous to 
the sub-delegate of the ancien regime, just as the pre- 
fect of the department suggests the old-time intendant 'prefect! 1 
of the province. The Napoleonic sub-prefect was the 




The limited 

nature of the 



All munici- 
pal officers 

Extent of 
the Premier 


appointee of the higher authorities, was the agent of 
the prefect, and had the assistance of an arrondisse- 
ment council of ten or twelve members whose func- 
tions were advisory, and who held their positions by 
virtue of appointment by the central authority. The 
arrondissement was not a complete and distinct legal 
personality like the department on the one hand or 
the municipality or commune on the other, but a mere 
division for administrative convenience, existing for 
comparatively limited purposes, holding no property 
in its own name or right, and having none of the at- 
tributes of a body politic and corporate. 

As for the communes under the legislation of the 
year 1800 (which is always cited as the law of 28 
Pluvidse, an VIII.), we find that they were still ac- 
corded, as in the law of 1789, a mayor with several 
adjuncts or assistant executive officers and delibera- 
tive councils. But whereas these were all elected by 
the people of the commune under the earlier legisla- 
tion, they had all, by the fundamental law of the year 
1800, become appointive functionaries, owing their 
places to the central executive authority. Of course 
Napoleon could not in his own person make selection 
of mayors, executive adjuncts, municipal councilors, 
arrondissement councilors, and departmental coun- 
cilors, for the whole of France, inasmuch as this 
would have involved the naming of half a million 
functionaries. But where he did not make personal 
selections, the choice was exercised for him by his 
prefects or sub-prefects. 

In practice, the Premier Consul was supposed to 
appoint the mayors and councils of cities and towns 
having more than five thousand people ; while the de- 
partmental prefects were authorized to make appoint- 
ments in the smaller communes. The only limitation 
upon this exercise of absolute central power was the 


requirement that mayors and municipal councilors CHAP. n. 
must be chosen from certain lists of their fellow-cit- 
izens which the electors had some voice in preparing. 
This limitation in practice did not act as an impor- 
tant restraint. Two or three years later, under some 
circumstances, it was permitted to the electors of 
municipalities to nominate two candidates for every 
place which became vacant, one of whom should be 
appointed by the superior authority ; but even this 
concession was not allowed to become operative as an 
ordinary rule. 

This arbitrary system of municipal subjection was 
not abandoned, as it ought to have been, upon the 

t n IT XT i * TJ_ i i t ! !* Napoleonic 

downfall of Napoleon's empire. It held its own with- system con- 
out material modification at any point under the 
period of the Restoration up to the revolution of 1830, 
when France again became a republic except in name, 
Louis Philippe's being "a throne surrounded by 
republican institutions." There had been able states- 
men in the epoch of the Restoration who had de- 
manded a return to the plan of popularly elected 
municipal councils, but in vain. This reform was 
promptly granted by the government of 1830. 

The act of March, 1831, allowed a list of municipal 
voters possessing a modest property qualification to 

i. ^ i * ru i -i mu Municipal 

choose the members of the municipal council. The councils be- 
central government retained the right to appoint the tivein issi". 
mayors and their adjuncts or executive assistants; 
but in making these appointments the minister of the 
interior was obliged to confine his selections wholly 
to the elected members of the council. Herein lay a 
very substantial concession to the principle of local 
self-government. The councils remained, however, 
very much under the tutelage of the prefect, who con- 
tinued to administer the department as the direct 
representative of the central authorities. 


CHAP. ii. Through all these vicissitudes, it should be ob- 
served, municipal affairs were actively administered 
by mayors and adjuncts, with the assistance in delib- 

a A erative affairs of a municipal council. The principal 

All nuctu- A * * 

ations af- changes from time to time concerned themselves al- 
questionof most wholly with the question whether these local 
c omy. n officers should derive their places and authority pri- 
marily from the commune itself or from the higher 
government. The revolution of 1848 carried the 
emancipation of municipalities much further than that 
of 1830. Universal suffrage now replaced the limited 
suffrage which had held sway for nearly twenty years ; 
while for towns of six thousand people or less the 
municipal councils were permitted to select the mayor 
and other executive officers from their own member- 
ship, without interference from any superior admin- 
istration. As for the towns of greater population, the 
central government of the Republic thought it neces- 
sary to retain the right to designate the executive of- 
ficers, although appointments were always made from 
among the elected members of the municipal councils. 
The spirit of the legislation of 1848 was that of confi- 
dence in the principle of municipal home-rule. 

With the public events which in 1852 made Louis 
Napoleon Emperor of the French, there began another 
epoch in the administrative life of the French munici- 
palities. The prefectoral system was reinvigorated, 
Napoleon in. an y^ m ayors and executive officers of all munici- 
palities and communes became, like the sub-prefects, 
a part of the administrative mechanism of a system 
of autocratic, centralized government. The munici- 
pal councils retained their elective character, but the 
mayors and adjuncts of all communes, from the great 
towns to the smallest country hamlet, were named by 
the Emperor or by the prefects acting for him, and the 
choice was not limited to the membership of the councils. 


The municipal system retained these essential char- CHAP. n. 
acteristics throughout the period of the Second Em- 
pire. I have shown in the preceding chapter with 
what scope and magnificence the work of modernizing 
the capital city was prosecuted during this epoch; 
and it is true of other French cities and towns that 
the spirit of the new Paris was to some extent reflected 
in their municipal activities. For Baron Haussmann, 
as prefect of the Seine, was only one of Napoleon 
III. 7 s energetic agents. It must be remembered that 
through this period the initiative in local and muni- the period. 
cipal life belonged chiefly to the appointed execu- 
tive officers. The elected councils were expected to 
approve the projects recommended by the executive 
authority, and to duly sanction by their votes the 
financial estimates and budgets that were submitted 
for their formal acceptance. The councils, it is true, 
possessed some measure of substantial influence and 
authority; but the imperial will, which made itself, 
felt so directly and powerfully in the affairs of Paris, 
was not without its high degree of potency also in 
Lyons, Marseilles, and every other considerable town 
of France. Inasmuch as this influence was, in the 

* i i i i i n / **i T Influence of 

main, exerted in behalf of municipal progress, as I Napoleon IIL 
have endeavored to make clear in my description of 
the Napoleon-Haussmann epoch in the transformation 
of Paris, it cannot be said that the Second Empire 
forms a barren or reactionary period in the material 
and visible progress of the chief communities of 
France. But it was certainly a period in which the 
principle of self-government was repressed and dis- 
couraged ; and its educative effect upon the citizenship 
of the nation cannot be considered beneficial. 

There are several reasons why the legislation of 
1871, immediately following the overthrow of the Em- 
pire and ushering in the happier and better epoch of 




tism of Presi- 
dent Thiers. 

Terms of 



the Third Republic, did not revert with confidence to 
the salutary principles of the municipal legislation of 
the two preceding republican periods. The immedi- 
ate reason undoubtedly was the position of M. Thiers. 
This eminent statesman felt himself responsible for 
the political situation of the nation as a whole, at a 
time when the communal uprising in Paris had caused 
many conservative men to doubt the advantages of 
municipal autonomy, while also it was declared that a 
large concession of local self-government would aid 
the schemes, in various parts of France, of the mon- 
archist factions, which were formidably plotting 
against the republic. 

In short, it was a moment of peculiar political strain 
and exigency ; and it is not to be wondered at that 
President Thiers, who had grown old in the traditions 
of the system of high centralization, should have 
lacked the courage to try the experiment of allowing 
the people of the French towns to manage their own 
affairs in their own way. The National Assembly at 
first voted to allow all municipal councils to choose 
the mayors and executive adjuncts. Then M. Thiers 
protested and threatened to resign unless the vote 
were rescinded; and his wishes were obeyed. Ac- 
cordingly, the higher authorities retained the right to 
appoint the mayors of towns having twenty thousand 
people or more, while for the smaller places the 
councils were allowed to designate the mayor and 

Municipal councils had been appointed for seven- 
year terms under the Second Empire, arid the mayors 
for terms of five years. The National Assembly of 
1871 reduced the terms of councilors and mayors 
alike to three years. Several concessions of some in- 
cidental importance to the principle of local self-gov- 
ernment were adopted, and it is certainly important 



to bear in mind the spirit of the National Assembly, 
which was distinctly friendly to the idea of decentral- 
ization, radical changes in the system of local govern- 
ment being regarded as merely postponed because 
some of the leading spirits in national affairs did not 
deem it safe for the moment to relinquish the repub- 
lic's firm central hold on local administration so long 
as there was menace from foreign complications 
without or from royalist factions within. 

The experience of immediately following years 
abundantly proved this conservative timidity to have 
been ill founded. Central domination in purely lo- 
cal affairs is incompatible with a republican form of 
government. Under the autocratic system of Napo- 
leon III., there was the substance of power as well as 
the form in the system of centralization. But when 
the Third Republic was fairly launched upon its 
course, the spirit of self-government grew constantly 
stronger in the towns and cities ; and the central au- 
thorities of the republic, obliged to rely upon the sup- 
port of public opinion rather than upon military 
power, did not find it politic very often to thwart 
the will of a community by appointing an unpopular 
mayor. As a natural consequence, in those early 
years of the republic, the municipal councils (elected 
almost universally upon the lines of national party 
or faction), boldly proceeded to designate their own 
mayors and adjuncts, and the higher authorities 
tamely ratified the local choice. In some cases the 
councils went so far as to install their mayors without 
waiting for the ratification of the President of the 

Under the Napoleonic system the municipal gov- 
ernments were obliged to submit every act of any 
importance to the prefectoral or national authorities 
for their assent. Mayors and councils were subject 


Spirit of tlie 

tion imprac- 

a republic. 


of local gov- 



CHAP. ii. to suspension at any time by the prefect, and to dL- 
sohition by order of the central government at Paris. 
All this exercise of tutelage was, moreover, an active 
and constant domination, rather than a formal and 
passive acquiescence or an occasional .check. But 
while under the republic there still survived in law 
this subjection of municipal budgets, ordinances, con- 
tracts, and all other matters deliberative or executive, 
to the central government or its prefectoral agents, 

Different a different spirit became manifest. The municipal 

spirit under ._ _ * _ . . . r 

the republic, councils and their executive officers grew more asser- 
tive, while the prefects and the central government 
became correspondingly more compliant. The prin- 
ciple of self-government was no longer set at defiance ; 
and the supervision of municipal officers by the supe- 
rior officials tended more and more to limit itself to 
a reasonable protection of the municipalities them- 
selves against bad financiering, or against some way- 
ward or exceptional act of policy. 

Although the republican lawmakers of 1871 ab- 
stained from any radical revision of the system of 
municipal government prevailing throughout France, 
they allowed themselves at least to deal broadly and 
wisely with the administrative system of the depart- 
ments. The loss of Alsace and Lorraine had reduced 
the eighty-nine departments to eighty-seven. All ex- 
isting laws affecting the departments in any wise 
were thoroughly revised and recast, so that there 
emerged one elaborate and well-codified act. The 
popularly elected Council General of the department 
was accorded a much increased measure of authority, 
and it was permitted to designate out of its own mem- 
bership a standing executive commission which should 
be on constant duty, and should take in hand some of 
the most important functions that had previously de- 
volved upon the appointed prefect. This depart- 

tal reform. 

of 1871. 


mental legislation formed a large step in the direction CHAP. n. 
of true constitutional reform, and its wisdom has been 
justified by the experience of more than a quarter 
of a century. 

It was pediaps quite as well that the Assembly of 
1871 should have paused where it did. All that was 
needed was a few years of the practical working of 

,, , , \ , , , r Ex Perience 

the new departmental laws, and some experience of as a guide. 
the futility of attempting to hold municipal adminis- 
tration under the close tutelage of a central republi- 
can government, in order to make it easy enough, in 
the fullness of time, to agree upon a reform of the 
municipal and communal system. 

The present municipal system of France was framed 
in the act which bears the date of April 5, 1884. The 
laws that prescribed the system then found surviving Great muni- 
were scattered through the statute-books of ninety- 
five years ; for there still remained in force some sec- 
tions of the acts of 1789 and 1790, while parts of the 
enactments and decrees of every subsequent period 
had been kept alive. In 1884, however, every vestige 
of earlier legislation was repealed in order that one 
complete statute might serve as a municipal code, em- 
bodying every necessary legal provision for the or- 
ganization and government of the communes. 

This piece of legislation is analogous to the English 
municipal code of 1882, which consolidated the nu- 
merous enactments of the period following the great compared 
municipal reform bill of 1835, and which has given 
the British municipal corporations so admirable a 
framework. Several distinguished French publicists 
among them M. Paul Leroy-Beaulieu had long held 
up the English municipal system as the one great and 
admirable model toward the principles of which they 
urged their fellow-countrymen to advance in reform- 
ing the French system. Unquestionably the health- 


CHAP. ii. ful and prosperous municipal life of the British towns 
under the popular self-government guaranteed to 
them by the reform legislation of a half -century pre- 
vious, and further confirmed by the code of 1882, had 
its due influence upon the minds of the French states- 
men who devised the excellent statute of April, 1884. 
The English system, as I have elsewhere shown, 
concerns itself only with those urban entities which 
have secured recognition under the law as municipal 
corporations. It has been reserved for the legislation 
of 1894* of 1894, in the Local Government Bill, to provide the 
civil parishes that is to say, the fifteen thousand 
minor administrative areas of England and Wales 
with a system of local self-government, under elective 
councils, analogous to that which the municipal cor- 
porations have so long enjoyed. Under the French 
_, , , system each unit of local administration, whether 

French code J 7 

of 1884 cor- great or small, is known as a commune, and each has 

responds to . . , . mi 

English acts its so-called municipal organization. The one statute 
i8M. an of 1884 deals with them all, adapting itself to their 
differences of size by classifying them according to 
population. The British Local Government Act of 
1888, which established county councils on the elective 
plan, and completely reconstructed the government of 
these larger divisions of the country, may be regarded 
as comparable with the French legislation of 1871, 
which reformed the administrative system of the 
departments. Thus, the English began their local 
ministrative reforms with the principal towns, 
adopting for them, by the municipal act of 1835, a 
uniform system on the basis of popular self-govern- 
ment. In 1888 they applied an analogous system to 
the government of the counties, and in 1894 they 
erected a system of parish government upon the same 
principles. Viewing the French system as it now 
stands, the departmental reform dates from 1871, 


thus preceding the reform of the English counties by CHAP. n. 
seventeen years ; while the thousands of country dis- 
tricts or communes, analogous to the English parishes, 
were all comprised in the municipal legislation of 
1884. Throughout the French system there is the 
unity and harmony of an elaborate piece of architec- ^ G tw s y s - 

* * r ten is cou- 

ture made fit for its purpose by skilful and artistic trasted. 

hands. The English system, on the other hand, seems 
more to resemble a sturdy tree with firm, deep roots 
and massive trunk, and with spreading boughs which 
maintain a general symmetry and balance without 
semblance of precise regularity. 

The sacrifice of territory as a result of the war with 
Germany cost France nearly 2000 communes; but 
there remained approximately 36,000, which number 
in 1895 had increased to 36,140, through rearrange- 
ments of boundary resulting from growth and 
change. 1 The law of 1884 contains 168 articles, the _ . 

' Present gov- 

first of which is as follows : " The municipal corps of eminent oi 

i i IT -i i j/i i the corn- 

each commune shall be composed of the municipal munes. 

council, the mayor, and one or more adjuncts." For- 
mer legislation had designated the mayor and his ex- 
ecutive assistants first, and the municipal council 
afterward. It was by intention, and not by accident, 
that the order was reversed in the new law. The 
Minister of the Interior, in a circular addressed to the 
prefects of all the departments, dated May 15, 1884, 
his letter being an elaborate running commentary upon Municipal 
the provisions of the new municipal act, remarked 
that this first article was a "reproduction of the 
opening paragraph of the law of May 5, 1855, 'with this 
exception : that in the enumeration of the members 
of the municipal corps, the first place is now assigned 

i It may be well to observe at this point that the 87 depart- 
ments of France are (in 1895) subdivided into 362 arrondisse- 
ments, 2871 cantons, and 36,140 communes. 


CHAP. IL to the municipal council. It is necessary," he con- 
tinued, "to recognize the fact that by this change 
homage is meant to be paid to the direct representa- 
tives of universal suffrage, from whom the mayor 
himself derives his powers." 

For communes having 500 inhabitants or less the 
municipal council consists of ten members. There 
are more than seventeen thousand, nearly one half 
of the total number of French communes, belong- 

o?oSanSi ip ing to this class. More than fourteen thousand 

isolation, have between 500 and 1500 people, and for each of 
these the number of councilors is twelve. The next 
class embraces communes of less than 2500 people, 
to which sixteen councilors are allowed. Twenty-one 
members belong to the councils of towns having from 
2500 to 3500 people, and twenty-three councilors to 
those having more than 3500 and less than 10,000. 
Twenty-seven councilors are chosen by communes 
having from 10,000 to 30,000 ; thirty by those having 
from 30,000 to 40,000 ; thirty-two by those having from 
40,000 to 50,000; thirty-four by those having from 
50,000 to 60,000 ; and thirty-six belong to those with 
a population exceeding 60,000, excepting Lyons and 
Paris. By a special arrangement the council of 
Lyons contains fifty-four members, and that of Paris 

As a general rule, the act ordains that " the election 
of the members of the municipal council shall take 

Election place f or every commune au scrutin de liste " that 
* s * sa y> ky general ticket. It is further provided, 
however, that communes of more than ten thousand 
people may be divided into sections Electorates^ each of 
which may choose a certain number of councilors. 
But these sections or wards may not be very small, 
for each one of them must have at least four council- 
ors to elect. Paris, as the preceding chapter has ex- 


plained, is altogether exceptional. Lyons is also CHAP. n. 
an exception, it is divided by law into six perman- 
ent arrondissements, to which are distributed the Division of 
fifty-four members of the council, each arrondisse- 

ment electing its group of councilors on a single 
ticket. As for Bordeaux, Marseilles, or any other 
large town, the number of sections 61ectorales cannot 
exceed nine. It is not necessary that these ward lines 
should be frequently changed in order to secure equal- 
ity, inasmuch as the law provides that the whole num- 
ber of councilors shall be apportioned to the sections 
in the ratio of the number of voters enrolled on the 
lists. The division into sections is not required, how- 
ever, and there are towns of considerable size which General 
have preferred to adhere to the general rule of the for sections. 
law that is to say, to elect the entire body of coun- 
cilors upon one general ticket. The twenty-three 
councilors allotted to communes having populations 
between 3500 and 10,000 must in all cases be chosen 
upon a general ticket, unless it should happen that 
the commune takes the form of a large country town- 
ship with two or more entirely distinct villages, in 
which case each village is assigned its due quota of 
councilors. Such instances, of course, are not very 

The division of a large town into electoral sections 
is considered a matter of serious importance, and it 
can only be accomplished in accordance with a careful 
and deliberate procedure in which the higher author- 
ities as well as the municipal council must participate, precautions 
The object of the law is to make sure that there is 
real justification for the creation of ward lines or for 
their rearrangement, and. to prevent any capricious 
change for gerrymandering purposes. Thus the pre- 
sumption is in favor of a considerable stability. In 
every case the four or more councilorships assigned 



The four- 
year term, 

Question of 
partial re- 

CHAP. ii. to a section must be filled oil the general-ticket plan 
that is to say, each voter is allowed to cast his ballot 
for as many names as the section in which he votes 
has council seats to fill. This division into sections 
is not a matter identical with the arrangement of mere 
voting precincts. The number of polling-places is 
a question of minor convenience, and one easily ad- 
justed from time to time. 

The law of 1884 increased the term of the municipal 
councilors to four years. The law of 1871 had re- 
duced it to three. 1 Some of the lawmakers of 1884 
were in favor of the principle of partial renewal. 
They favored the four-year term with biennial elec- 
tions, half of the membership of the council retiring 
every second year. A renewal of the entire body, 
however, once every four years, seemed to the ma- 
jority to be in more natural accord with the genius of 
the French system. It is possibly true that it was 
better adapted to French conditions, and better calcu- 
lated to develop the habit of democratic home rule in 
the French communities. There is much to be said 
on both sides, although partial renewal certainly pro- 
motes continuity in the management of municipal 
enterprises, and aids in the execution of large public 

The municipal elections occur simultaneously 
throughout France on the first Sunday in May every 
fourth year. The propriety of a separation of mu- 
nicipal from other elections has apparently never been 

1 There has been much variation on this point in French prac- 
tice. Thus, in 1831 the term of councilors was fixed at six years, 
and half the body was renewed every three years. The law of 
1855 prescribed a five-year term, the whole body retiring to- 
gether. In 1867 the term was lengthened to seven years, and in 
1870 it was reduced again to five years. In 1871 it was further 
reduced to three, and in 1884 it was increased to four, where 
it has since remained. 



questioned in France. The municipal electorate was CHAP. n. 
also formerly distinct. The third republic had or- 
dained universal suffrage in national elections for all 
male citizens who had attained the age of twenty-one 
years and had lived six months in the commune 
where they were enrolled. But for the municipal 
suffrage some tax-paying qualifications were requisite, 
together with a longer period of residence. The law 
of 1884, however, removed all distinctions and unified universal 
the voting-lists. Consequently the municipal suffrage 
may now be exercised by every Frenchman who has 
attained his majority, has lived six months in the 
commune, and has not lost his civil rights and priv- 
ileges through the commission of a crime or any other 
disqualifying act. Thus, universal suffrage in France 
means almost precisely what the same term signifies 
in the United States. 

There is one important difference to be noted, how- 
ever, between the electoral roll of a large French town 
and the registration list of a corresponding Amer- 
ican municipality. The French system of taxation 
includes not only several kinds of property taxes, but 
also a classified tax upon business pursuits ; and every 
one who owns property or carries on any kind of 
business or calling in a town is entered upon the tax- 
rolls. The electoral laws permit any man thus en- 
tered on the tax-rolls of a commune to exercise his A provision 
voting privileges in that place. Thus, suburban resi- <tat n voten!~ 
dents who live beyond the municipal confines may 
vote in the town provided they do business or pay 
taxes there. Such men are also eligible for election 
to the council under certain limitations. This provi- 
sion does not in fact add a very large contingent to 
the municipal voting-list, but it is a reasonable ar- 
rangement, nnd a convenient one. An analogous 
arrangement exists in England, except that the 





may choose 

their voting 


Conduct of 
an election. 

Voting sys- 

The second 

English property-owner may vote in both places. 
The French voter may under no circumstances vote 
in more than one place ; and if he chooses to enroll 
himself in the urban commune where he spends his 
business hours, he may not exercise the suffrage in 
the rural commune* where he makes his domicile. 

In the small communes, which need only one poll- 
ing-place, the mayor presides at the election. Where 
there are several polling-places the task of presiding 
officer devolves upon the mayor's adjuncts, and then 
upon the members of the municipal council, in the 
regular and prescribed order of their names as entered 
upon an official list. Additional appointments, if 
necessary, are made by the mayor. Associated with 
the presiding officer as election judges (assesseurs) are 
the two oldest voters and the two youngest ones who 
are present in the polling-room at the time when the 
polls are opened. These five designate the secretary 
or clerk of the electoral bureau, who has a voice but 
not a vote in the actions of the board. The vot- 
ing system is a well-devised and orderly one, al- 
though France has not yet adopted the official ballot 
which we in America call the Australian system. 
The voter prepares his ticket before entering the 
voting-room, and hands the folded paper, which must 
be white and without external mark or sign, to the 
president of the bureau, who deposits it in the ballot 
box. The name of each voter is checked upon the 
certified list of registered voters which is in the hands 
of the election judges. 

It is commonly expected in a French municipal 
election that a supplementary ballot on the following 
Sunday will be necessary. This is because the law 
provides that no candidate may be declared elected 
on the first ballot unless he has obtained an absolute 
majority of all the votes cast ; and, further, unless the 



number of votes cast for him has been equal to 
one fourth of the entire number of voters enrolled 
as belonging to the commune or section. Under 
certain circumstances, as when the voting strength is 
principally divided between two tickets, the first bal- 
lot may be conclusive for every seat in the municipal 
council. But when, as very frequently occurs, there 
are several tickets in the field, together with much 
scratching and substitution, the supplementary ballot 
will usually be necessary. On the second ballot those 
candidates who have the largest number of votes are 
declared elected, whether or not they have an ab- 
solute majority. 

Thus, to illustrate concretely, let us say that B , 
which is a town of ten thousand people, with ap- 
proximately two thousand registered voters, is hold- 
ing its municipal election. Twenty-three councilors 
are to be chosen upon general ticket. Each elector 
votes for a full list of twenty-three. It may well 
happen that a hundred different individuals are voted 
for. No one can be elected on the first ballot unless 
he secures more than half of all the votes actually 
cast, and, further, unless this half be more than five 
hundred, that is to say, more than one quarter of the 
total electorate. Let us suppose that ten candidates 
receive the requisite majority. They are declared 
elected, and the mayor duly announces the opening of 
the polls on the following Sunday for the election of 
the remaining thirteen. At the second polling each 
voter is entitled to deposit a ballot containing thir- 
teen names ; and the thirteen who stand highest when 
the votes are counted are entitled to seats in the 
council. In the large towns where a division into 
sections has been made, and where each section has 
perhaps only four or five councilors to elect, the 
method is not different, although the short list is 


Majority re- 
quisite on 
first ballot, 
but not on 

A concrete 


CHAP. ii. 

NO revision 
for reienta y 

tions for 

Value of 

" scrutin de 


obviously somewhat easier to manage than a long one. 
seei1 *k a * the French system makes no pro- 
^ e cumulation of votes, or for any plan of 
proportional or minority representation. French ex- 
perience in government by popular elections was per- 
haps not considered mature enough to justify experi- 
ments and innovations which England, Switzerland, 
or even the United States might test with safety and 

Members of the council must be twenty-five years 
old. Iti other respects they have the same qualifica- 
tions as the voters. It is, however, provided that not 
more than one fourth of the members of the council 
can be elected from among those voters who do not 
have their actual domicile within the boundaries of 
the commune. This limitation is scarcely necessary, 
inasmuch as the natural tendency in France, as every- 
where else, is in favor of candidates who reside in 
the same area with the voting constituency. A resi- 
dent of one section of a French city is entirely eligible 
as a candidate for election ie any other section, but 
his chances of success, generally speaking, would be 
weakened outside of his own district. The French 
statesmen have recognized the fact that the scrutin 
de liste, or general ticket, tends to secure a higher aver- 
age degree of character and ability in municipal coun- 
cils and other representative bodies than the plan of 
one-name districts. They have, therefore, done well to 
retain that principle ; and their rejection of it in the 
election of the members of the Paris council is a con- 
spicuous exception which experience condemns. 

Having elected their municipal councilors, the 
voters have performed their one chief task. They 
have conferred upon a chosen group of their fellow- 
citizens the right to exercise all the powers which are 
by law reposed in the municipal organism. The 



council proceeds without delay to choose from its 
own membership the mayor and his so-called adjuncts 
or assistants. These are all appointed for the full 
term of four years. The council elects them by bal- 
lot. On the first and second votes an absolute ma- 
jority is requisite. If such a majority has been lacking, 
a third ballot will suffice, the candidate who then has a 
plurality of votes being declared elected. In the case 
of a " tie," the office is accorded to the oldest of the can- 
didates who have received an equal number of votes. 

The number of adjuncts varies in accordance with 
the size of the commune. Those having less than 
twenty-five hundred inhabitants elect only one ad- 
junct, while those whose population is between twen- 
ty-five hundred and ten thousand elect two. One 
more is then added for each twenty-five thousand ad- 
ditional population, with the proviso that the maxi- 
mum number shall not exceed twelve. An exception 
is made in the case of Lyons, the council of which is 
authorized to designate seventeen adjuncts. Apart 
from Paris and Lyons,* all the large towns and cities 
of France, therefore, have municipal councils of thirty- 
six members, which are not merely permitted but re- 
quired to appoint from their own number a mayor 
and the prescribed number of adjuncts or executive 

The mayor is the presiding officer of the council 
and the executive head of the municipality. His 
range of duties is wide and responsible. He assigns 
various administrative tasks to his adjuncts. With- 
out attempting to enter too minutely into details, it 
may readily be seen that the mayor and his adjuncts 
constitute in effect a standing executive committee of 
the council, responsible for the every-day administra- 
tion of municipal affairs. Under the French system 
the full council does not of necessity hold very fre- 


Choosing the 

mayors and 


Number of 

Relation of 
mayor to 




of sessions. 

The law 

of the coun- 

quent sittings. Four sessions each year are prescribed 
by law. Three of these so-called ordinary sessions 
may last for fifteen days each, while the fourth in 
which the annual budget is discussed, and the genera] 
official policy of the municipality is debated for the 
following year is permitted to remain in session foi 
six weeks. Meantime, there may be as many so-called 
extraordinary sessions as the mayor wishes to call 
On the other hand, the council itself has due initia- 
tive, and a majority may at any time appoint a meet- 
ing, which the mayor is obliged to convoke in regular 

It may fairly be claimed that the French law gives 
itself needless concern in its attempt to prescribe the 
dates and duration of the ordinary sessions of mu- 
nicipal councils. The matter is one which of neces- 
sity tends to regulate itself according to the views of 
particular localities. Thus it may readily be seen 
that in one commune the four formal sessions might 
almost entirely suffice, while some other municipality 
might prefer to hold an extraordinary meeting twice 
a month, or even once a week, and thus to avoid very 
protracted sessions when the quarterly dates pre- 
scribed by law have come around. The executive 
group, composed of the mayor and his adjuncts, is 
expected to meet with considerable frequency at the 
call of the mayor. 

The council itself also appoints a number of stand- 
ing committees for the consideration of important 
subjects, or the general oversight of particular de- 
partments. All these committees have the mayor as 
nominal chairman, although the actual duties of the 
chairmanship are usually performed by one of .the 
adjuncts, who is assigned to act in the mayor's stead. 
This adjunct would naturally be the one charged by 
the mayor with the active executive oversight of the 


department in which the committee is interested. The CHAP. n. 
standing committees of a French municipal council 
are of very much less importance than those of an 
English council. In England the council itself, work- compared 

. ,, , ., , ,. ... . -i j with English 

ing through its standing committees, is an admmistra- committees. 
tive as well as a deliberative and financial body. But 
in France the council assigns all administrative and 
executive duties to the mayor and his adjuncts. Thus 
a standing committee in a French council consults, 
advises, and keeps itself informed, and it may exer- 
cise a considerable influence over the action of the 
mayor and adjuncts ; but it does not act of itself. 

In England the council, on the recommendation of 
the standing committees, makes all appointments of 
municipal officers and employees, while in France the Mayor has 

... , , full appoint- 

mayor exercises the entire appointing power except ing power. 
as regards certain offices which the law specifically re- 
quires to be filled in some other way. The British 
mayor is merely the presiding officer of the council, 
holding his place for only one year and possessing no 
administrative authority or power of appointment. 
In the French, as in some American municipalities, 
the mayor is the executive head with powers and du- w^TSS^. 
ties which would seem to give him almost the position can s y stem - 
of a dictator. The sharp distinction, however, be- 
tween the French and American systems lies in the 
fact that the French mayor is not only a member of 
the council and the council's presiding officer, but 
that he and his adjuncts owe their appointments en- 
tirely to their fellow-councilors. 

Thus in fact the English and French systems both 
have perfect unity, and the municipal council is the Growth of 

it i , < A . i . i -^ / i- . . the council's 

central and important fact in both. If I am not mis- influence. 
taken in the tendency of things, as the system actually 
works in France the real influence of the council is 
increasing at the expense of that of the mayor. It 


CHAP. ii. could not well be otherwise, where the council is com- 
posed of active and intelligent men. The standing 
committees must inevitably grow in influence, and 
the adjuncts in the course of time must, it would seem 
to me, find themselves in very much the same position 

Tendency to as the chairmen of the chief committees of an English 

the mayor, council. The mayor, under the French system, will 
doubtless long continue to be intrusted with the 
general oversight and control of the executive work 
of the commune; but I am not disposed to believe 
that he will always hold so dominant a place as 
the law of 1884 seems to contemplate. Experience 
will soon begin to show how far the French councils, 
without any changes in the law, will be able to make 
the mayor practically their obedient servant in the 
performance of his executive functions. 

Councilors, mayors, and adjuncts are all required 
to serve without salary. Allowances may be voted to 

NO salaries, cover actual expenses incurred in connection with the 
performance of official duty ; but such outlays are as 
a rule rather strictly construed, although, as I have 
shown in the preceding chapter, the Paris council has 
not been altogether self-denying. 

Every mayor in France, while filling primarily the 

The mayor's position of chief of the local administration, is also 

dual capac- - 7 

ity. regarded as a representative, for certain specified pur- 
poses, of the higher authority. The law very dis- 
tinctly ascribes to him this double character. It 
recites that he is charged under the control of the 
municipal council and the surveillance of the higher 
authorities with the care and management of the 
communal property ; with the oversight of the munic- 
ipal revenues and the treasury accounts; with the 
preparation of the annual budget and estimates ; with 
the direction of the public works of the commune; 
with power over measures pertaining to ways of com- 


mimication ; with the leasing of places in the markets, CHAP. n. 
and the making of other contracts, leases, and conces- 
sions in accordance with forms duly prescribed by 
law; with various acts involving sales, acquisitions n t 
and business transactions in behalf of the municipal- resentative 
ity under rules duly laid down j with representation mime. 
of the commune in matters of litigation, whether as 
plaintiff or defendant ; with the execution of various 
other matters particularly specified, and in general 
with the carrying out of the decisions of the municipal 
council. The exercise of these general powers in- 
volves the appointment of most of the municipal em- 
ployees, and this power of appointment also carries 
with it the power of suspension and removal, although 
certain limitations and safeguards surround the ap- 
pointing and removing power. 

As an agent of the superior authority and an officer 
of the republic, each mayor is charged with the duty 
of seeing that the general laws are executed in the second, as 

m A-I -i -i j-i agent of the 

commune. To this end, for example, the mayor is an state, 
officer of the 6tat civil, that is to say, must carry out 
the national laws touching the registration of births, 
deaths, marriages, etc. He has to do with the execu- 
tion of the military-service laws, with the collection 
of the commune's share of national taxes, and with 
all other matters which the laws of the land may pre- 
scribe. If in the performance of these duties toward 
the state the mayor should be recreant or negligent, 
he is subject to suspension by the prefect of the 

This suspension must not be arbitrary, but must be Liabi iit y t <> 
for reasons fully set forth, and it may hold good for SU8 P ension - 
only one month, during which the matter must be re- 
ferred to the central government. The minister of 
the interior may prolong the suspension to three 
months. The president of the republic, acting in the 



Power to 

suspend or 



CHAP. ii. council of state, may, for reasons which must be fully 
expressed, remove a mayor from his office. This pro- 
cess of suspension or removal applies equally to any 
or all of the mayor's adjuncts. Such action by the 
higher authorities does not carry with it any loss of 
membership or standing in the municipal council. 
The dismissal of a mayor by the President of the 
Republic holds good for one year, at the end of which 
the person dismissed becomes eligible again. 

Under previous regimes, the power of suspension 
and dismissal was far greater than that defined in the 
law of 1884; and the entire municipal council was 
in like manner liable to arbitrary suspension and ulti- 
mate dissolution as a penalty for having incurred the 
serious displeasure of the prefect or the central gov- 
ernment. It still holds true that an entire munici- 
pal council may be suspended, or even dissolved, by 
decree of the President of the Republic j but no great 
hardship accrues to the municipality, for an election 
must at once be held to choose a new council, and the 
councilors who have been dismissed are reeligible and 
may seek vindication at the hands of their constit- 
uents. The power to suspend or dissolve a French 
municipal council under the present laws is to be 
regarded as one to be exercised at rare intervals, and 
upon occasions where it would appear that the inter- 
jiareiy used, ests of the commune itself would make this summary 
proceeding desirable. For example, if it were shown 
that the majority in a municipal council had been 
guilty of bribe-taking or gross corruption, the sum- 
mary dismissal of the whole council would dispose 
conveniently of the situation. 

The suspension or dismissal of a mayor might on 
the one hand be due to his alleged mismanagement of 
municipal affairs, or on the other hand to his derelic- 
tion in those matters wherein he acts as the agent of 


the state. It is chiefly in his capacity as an agent of CHAP. n. 
the general government, charged with the local exe- 
cution of the national laws, that he is under the 
surveillance of the prefect. Yet it remains true that 
a large part of the important municipal work of the 
council and mayor requires for its full validity the ^^Jjjjjjj' 
assent of the higher authorities. Thus the budgets ciai ope' 

. toons ot mu- 

of small communes must bear the approving counter- nicipaiities. 
sign of the prefect before they can have legal effect, 
while the large municipalities must send their yearly 
volume of budgetary proposals to the minister of the 
interior, upon whose advice the President of the Re- 
public either approves of it, or else returns it with 
criticisms for revision. I am inclined to think that 
the surveillance now exercised by the higher authori- 
ties over the financial transactions of the communes 
and municipalities is, upon the whole, beneficial 
rather than hampering and arbitrary. It holds the 
local governments, great and small, to businesslike Beneflcial 
methods, and to standards of promptness arid effi- results. 
cieiicy. Anything like slipshod or irregular proceed- 
ings would meet with an instant check through this 
system. As in the British Local Government Board, 
which exercises a somewhat analogous though not 
precisely similar supervision over local administra- 
tion in England, one finds in the great office of the 
Minister of the Interior at Paris a well-equipped bu- 
reau of permanent expert officials trained in every present reia- 

, n * ..!/ i TJSJJ. tionship be- 

phase of municipal finance, and qualified to exercise tween en- 
intelligeiit supervision over the budgets of the French 
towns. I am not aware that there are any just com- 
plaints of capricious interference. And thus it may be 
asserted as a general principle that municipal initia- 
tive and freedom of action have found themselves 
greatly enlarged under the system of 1884, while the 
supervision of the higher authorities has been exer- 


CHAP. ii. cised under due safeguards, and has not frequently 
or seriously interrupted the reasonable exercise of 
local self-government. Its chief effect has been that 
of a wholesome preventive against lax and irregular 

It is difficult for a foreigner to satisfy himself that 
his knowledge is wide enough to justify him in ex- 
pressing an opinion touching the average character 
and ability of the men elected in the French towns as 

Ch HenSi 0f mun ^P a ^ councilors. Formerly, it maybe said, the 
councilors, councilors of the larger towns represented fairly well 
the property-holding or mercantile community. The 
tendency under the broader municipal suffrage which 
was introduced in 1884 has been to bring a larger 
number of working-men's representatives into the 
councils, and to replace the more conservative politi- 
cal elements to some extent by extreme radicals and 
socialists. It remains to be seen whether this recent 
tendency will prevail yet more widely, or whether on 
the other hand it may prove to be a passing phase. 
Taking a broad and general view, I have formed the 
impression that the municipal councils of France 
fairly reflect the prevailing standards of personal 
honesty and uprightness, and that in the large towns 
as well as in the smaller ones the intelligence of the 
community is very well represented. If I were to 
More radical venture upon a dangerous comparison I should be 

than English r . & ^ 

or German, disposed, after asking that due allowance be made 
for numerous exceptions, to entertain the view that in 
the present decade the French councils have been less 
substantial and responsible bodies tha,n those of the 
large English and German towns, while far superior 

American? in these qualities to those of American cities of cor- 
responding size. 

The sessions of the French councils were formerly 
held with closed doors. One of the important inno- 



vations of the law of 1884 was to throw the council 
meetings open, and thus to give public opinion a bet- 
ter opportunity to make itself felt in local affairs. 

The law arranges an elaborate classification of the 
so-called attributions of municipal councils. First, 
and by far the most extensive under the present lib- 
eral regime, are those functions which belong com- 
pletely and finally to the councils, without necessity 
of submission to any higher authority. Then come 
the so-called deliberations exfoutoires aprbs approba- 
tion. These involve such matters as the alienation of 
municipal property, the making of long leases, the 
granting of charters to companies, the annual budget, 
and a few other matters. The council takes the in- 
itiative in all these things, but before its action can 
be deemed final the prefect, sitting in his prefectoral 
council, must give his formal approval. He must act 
promptly, and in case of his failure to indorse, the 
municipal council has the right of appeal to the 
minister of the interior. It is, in my judgment, a rea- 
sonable precaution not to permit a municipal council 
to grant valuable privileges or alienate public prop- 
erty without the surveillance and approval of the 
higher authorities. The check operates in practice to 
lessen the chances of bribery and corruption, and to 
prevent hasty and ill-advised action. The laws very 
carefully protect the municipalities against transac- 
tions in which members of the council can be shown 
to have an undue personal interest. 

The exercise of ordinary police authority is vested 
in the mayor. He has the power of appointment and 
promotion, and is charged by the laws with a long 
list of duties which are regarded as properly pertain- 
ing to the police administration. All appointments, 
however, must be ratified by the prefect of the de- 
partment; and while the mayors have the right to 

CHAP. n. 
P en 

w .. 

Functions of 

the councils. 

check upon 
grants, etc. 






must pass 

upon police 

system of 


The Lyons 
police sys- 
tem excep- 

suspend police officers, no dismissal can be valid with- 
out the concurrence of the prefect. The laws further 
provide that the general organization of the police 
system of towns and cities having more than forty 
thousand people shall be prescribed in a decree em- 
anating from the President of the Republic him- 
self. In towns of less than forty thousand the mayor 
is entitled to exercise his own judgment in the organ- 
ization of the police department. The rule which au- 
thorizes the President of the Republic to pronounce 
upon the police system of the large towns is not in- 
tended as an interference with municipal freedom and 
initiative, but rather as a means by which to insure 
general uniformity and efficiency in police methods. 

The description I have given of the police system of 
Paris would serve to convey a general idea of organi- 
zation and method in Lyons, Marseilles, Bordeaux, 
and all the other provincial centers. The police sys- 
tem of Lyons, like that of Paris, is under what is 
termed a regime exceptional. A number of suburban 
communes are joined to the large urban commune 
of Lyons in order to constitute one general police 
district; and the prefect of the Rhone department, 
rather than the mayor of Lyons, exercises active con- 
trol over the metropolitan police system of the " ag- 
glomtration Lyonnaise." In all other French cities and 
towns without exception the mayor is the responsible 
head of the police department. I need not explain 
that one or more of his adjuncts or executive assist- 
ants may be deputed by him to assume executive 
charge of the work in part or as a whole, and that the 
municipal council, through a standing committee or 
otherwise, may exercise a considerable influence. 

The estimates of necessary expenditure for the 
maintenance of police operations, when submitted 
by the mayor, must be granted by the municipal 



council. In the case of the smaller communes, the 
prefect of the department would have authority to 

r ., . ,, , j , , J ,, 

inscribe in the budget such necessary sums as the 
muiiicipal council had failed to grant by its vote. 
In like manner the President of the Republic, acting 
in the council of state, is empowered to inscribe 
in the budgets of the large municipalities (those 
having more than 40,000 people) the sums deemed 
requisite to maintain an efficient police organization. 
The administrative authority of the mayor, under his 
general title to exercise police power, extends to 
various measures for the protection of the public 
health, and includes the lighting and cleansing of the 
streets, together with the regulation of numerous 
matters which relate to the good order, welfare, and 
convenience of the community. The granting of 
building permits, the enforcement of rules having 
to do with the street line, and the control of many 
questions relating to construction are also enumerated 
in the definition of the mayor's police authority. 

The mayor's jurisdiction in matters pertaining to 
the street system is brought at certain points into 
very close and delicate contact with the authority of 
the prefect and the higher functionaries. This seem- 
ing possibility of conflict arises from the fact that 
the public highways of France are divided into sev- 
eral classes, each of which is subject to a different 
control. First there are the routes nationaleSj some- 
times known as the system of national military roads. 
Radiating from Paris, and connecting the chief towns 
of the country, one finds a series of magnificent roads 
under the care of the national engineers, maintained 
in larger part at the expense of the republic, and 
coming under the control of the superior authorities. 
Each department, in its turn, has its own system of so- 
called routes dtpartementales. These are admirable 

CHAP. u. 

Police budg- 

pusory * 

scope of 


power ' 


B Seet . 
tem * 

National and 


CHAP. ii. macadamized highways which connect the princi- 
pal town of the department with the chief places of 
the arrondissements and cantons, and which bind 
together all the important towns of the division. 
They are controlled by the departmental authorities 
and maintained at the department's expense. De- 
scending to the smaller circumscriptions, one finds 
a system of routes vicinaux, and finally, in the rural 
Local roads, communes, the chemins ruraux (country roads), while 
the towns have their ordinary municipal street system. 
But in all towns of considerable size there are main 
streets which belong to the system of national roads, 
and other streets which are regarded as belonging to 
the departmental system. The authority of the mayor 
and the municipal council over such main thorough- 

Diflferent ^ , , ,-,,. 

jurisdictions, f ares is not so complete as over the network of ordi- 
nary streets. Not to enter into an explanation which 
would involve many distinctions and technicalities, it 
may be quite sufficient to make the general statement 
that the authorities of the republic and those of the 
department, under the existing regime, show a con- 
stantly increasing tendency to make the mayor and 
the municipal council their trusted representatives in 
almost everything that has to do with those portions 
of the national or departmental road systems that lie 
within the limits of a municipality. When questions 
of street-railway franchises or of other concessions 
and privileges upon the street surface or beneath it 
arise, it becomes necessary for the municipality first 
to obtain a concession on its own behalf from the 
higher authorities, whereupon it can proceed to deal 
in its own way with the company or the individual 
seeking a franchise or concession. These matters 
rest in no confusion whatsoever. They all have been 
reduced to a system which, if elaborate in some cases, 
is always logical, definite, and lucid. 

The network of streets and highways throughout 


Prance has been brought to marvelous perfection CHAP. n. 
through the application of the best engineering 
methods. The roads and streets of the minor divi- Perfection of 
sions, as well as the chief routes of the nation and of ^iakm? " 
the departments, have, as a rule, been laid out and 
constructed under the oversight of the trained en- 
gineers of the national public- works department. If 
the high state of administrative centralization which 
has prevailed during most of the century has rested 
in large part upon false and mistaken principles, let 
us not forget that some permanent benefits have re- 
sulted from it. And of all these benefits, perhaps the 
most tangible one has been France's incomparably 
complete system of macadamized highways. It was 
inaugurated, and has been developed, as a central and A p<5u>y! al 
national rather than a local policy ; and while it has 
been a costly creation, it stands as one of the great, 
permanent factors in the wealth-production of France. 
Its cost has been repaid many times over ; and no one 
doubts the advantage of liberal yearly appropriations 
from national, departmental, and communal treasuries 
to maintain its perfect condition. Very few new roads 
are in the process of making in France, the system 
being practically complete. The repair, cleansing, and 
watering of the roads and streets of the entire country Maintenance 
employ a vast army of laborers, and these tasks are 
almost as minutely and methodically performed for 
the highways that radiate throughout the country as 
for the boulevards of Paris. 

If the great provincial towns of France have at- 
tracted comparatively little attention as examples of 
modern municipal expansion and transformation, it 
is only because Paris has so preeminently represented 
French municipal methods ; and also, perhaps, because 
the rate of development has not been so rapid of 
late in the French commercial and industrial towns 




The provin- 
cial capitals. 

tions like 
that of Paris. 

Lille as an 

and street 


as in those of Great Britain arid Germany. Never- 
theless, one may find exceedingly attractive illustra- 
tions of the modern municipal movement in the re- 
cent progress of the provincial capitals of France. 
It is true these towns are not growing in numbers 
as fast as those of several other countries, but they 
are gaining very remarkably, while the population of 
France as a whole remains at a stand-still, and that of 
many hundreds of the rural communes has been ap- 
preciably declining. 

Speaking in generalities, the period which has wit- 
nessed the transformation of Paris has seen a less 
marvelous but quite analogous change in the other 
French towns. This general movement may Tie il- 
lustrated by a citation of several concrete examples. 
The town of Lille, chief place of the Nord depart- 
ment, has now considerably more than two hundred 
thousand inhabitants. Forty years ago, in 1856, it 
had scarcely more than seventy-five thousand. It 
was at that time hemmed in by an ancient cincture of 
fortifications which gave it an elliptical form, the 
major axis being about a mile and a half long, while 
the shorter one was considerably less than a mile. 
Half of the old line of fortifications was demolished 
to make way for a broad central boulevard, which 
extends in a perfectly straight line across the present 
city. South of this line there was annexed a new 
area of greater extent than the old city, and this is 
laid out upon the Parisian system with noble boule- 
vards and avenues, while the entire town within the 
present enlarged limits is encircled by a series of 
boulevards of great width and attractiveness. The 
public buildings are excellent specimens of modern 
French civic architecture. The town has its great 
public museum of art, one of the most noteworthy in 
France, its important municipal library, and its elabo- 


rate educational system extending from the foole CHAP.II. 
maternelle up to the university, with technical and 
industrial schools which bear due relationship to the 
textile, chemical, and other industries that flourish in 
the town. The street-railway system is not extensive, 
for Lille is an exceedingly compact town ; yet there 
are thirteen lines radiating conveniently from one or 
two central points and serving not only the town itself 
but the adjacent suburban communes. This transit 
system is unified under a single ownership and man- 
agement. It pays a modest compensation to the 
municipality for its privileges in the streets, and is 
subject to minute municipal regulation touching its 
fares, routes, and all the details of its operation. 

The advocate of the direct municipal ownership and 
operation of such supply-services as lighting or tran- L . htfn aM 
sit, will not find it advantageous to visit the French transit scr- 

7 vices in gen- 

towns. He will find in them very few important ex- erai. 
periments in this direction, and will conclude that 
Great Britain and Germany are the fields best wor- 
thy his attention. But if the French towns have in 
these regards pursued a policy less bold and brilliant, 
it is nevertheless true that their methods are not 
without useful lessons to practical administrators, es- 
pecially to those of American cities. The French 
towns are all very compact, that is to say, they have 
a dense population and a restricted municipal area. 
Their street-railway lines accordingly do not perform 
so important a function as those of American cities, 
which serve populations spread over far greater street-rail- 

mi TI i ^ i i way meth- 

areas. The French government has, however, con- ods. 
sidered the subject of municipal tramways important 
enough to require very careful legislation. The con- 
sequence is that the street railways of each large 
French town constitute a rationally planned system. 
In almost every case it has been deemed best to grant 





by higher 

income from 
transit lines. 

and omni- 

of Lyons. 

the street-railway franchises of a town to one com- 
pany, in order to insure coherence and uniformity in 
methods, to secure transfer privileges, and to focus 
responsibility. The laws permit the municipal coun- 
cils to exercise almost entire freedom in the detailed 
character of the franchises they confer, but the ap- 
proval of the higher authorities is requisite in every 
case, and many precautions are taken to make it 
certain that the interests of the municipal treasury 
and the welfare and convenience of the citizens have 
been at no point sacrificed for the benefit of a private 
corporation. Some French cities obtain a percentage 
upon gross receipts, others receive a fixed annual 
rental, and still others exact a capital sum for the 
franchise, and agree upon a certain annual payment 
for each car in use. None of the French towns are 
in receipt of an important revenue from transit 
companies, but this is because the business of local 
transit has not yet grown to very lucrative dimen- 
sions. The Marseilles municipality obtains two or 
three per cent, of the gross receipts of the company 
which operates the tramway system. In Marseilles 
the omnibus lines are quite as important as those 
of the street-railway company, and they also pay 
a reasonable compensation to the treasury. The 
rates of fare on the street-cars of Marseilles are ex- 
ceedingly low; and, indeed, it is through low fares 
rather than through large payments to the municipal 
treasury that the real benefits of public regulation 
accrue to the inhabitants of all the principal French 
towns. Twenty-five years is a usual franchise period 
in these French municipalities. 

The general omnibus and tram company of Lyons, 
which obtained its present charter in 1882, pays the 
municipality eighty thousand francs a year for its 
privileges. The Lyons cars have two classes, and the 


rate of fare (in American money) is four cents for a CHAP. n. 
first-class seat, and two cents for a second-class one, 
to any part of the city. The same company which Bordeaux 
operates the Lyons system owns that of Bordeaux 
and various other French towns. The Bordeaux 
franchise differs from that of Lyons in the character 
of the money payments it exacts, the principal pay- 
ment taking the form of a fixed yearly charge for 
each omnibus or street car in active service. Bordeaux^ 
which is one of the most ancient of the French cities, 
and which possesses architectural monuments of 
great antiquity, also furnishes a striking illustration 
of the new in juxtaposition with the old. In the heart 
of the town there remain many of the narrow ancient 
streets, and the inner boulevard lines show the loca- 
tion of the ancient walls. The city lies as a crescent 
upon a bend of the river Garonne, its water-front 
somewhat resembling that of New Orleans. But the 
modern town has spread far beyond the limits of the 
ancient city, and has its network of great tree-lined 
boulevards and avenues quite upon the Parisian 
model. In 1871 its population was perhaps one 
hundred and seventy-five thousand. In 1891 this was 
more than two hundred and fifty thousand, and Bor- 
deaux ranked fourth in size among the French cities. 
The largest town in France apart from Paris is Ly- 
ons, which will have shown by the census of 1896 a 
population of approximately four hundred and fifty 
thousand souls, within a municipal area of 4300 hec- 
tares, about seventeen square miles. At the open- 
ing of the century the inhabitants of Lyons were only 
a little more than one hundred thousand. At the time 
of its modernization, beginning in about 1855, it had 
a population exceeding two hundred thousand. This 
had grown in 1881 to 377,000, and in 1891 to 416,000; 
and if the immediately suburban population belonging 





of the old 



'he modern 


the inner 


to Lyons as a general center were added, its present 
population would considerably exceed five hundred 

Compressed as its municipal limits would seem to 
be, the nominal area affords no true conception of 
the painful density of the Lyons population. The old 
city lay at the confluence of the Rhdne and the Sadnu, 
where the two rivers hemmed the town in upon tho 
point of a narrow peninsula. Artificial fortifications 
supplemented the natural water defenses, and the an- 
cient city had no opportunity to grow laterally, and 
therefore it developed vertically. Its narrow, wind- 
ing passageways were flanked by tenement-houses of 
eight or ten stories in height, with not a few that were 
of still greater altitude. The congestion was dreadful, 
air and sunlight had only limited access, epidemics 
were never wholly absent, and the rate of mortality 
was frightfully high. Under the modern reform era, 
there has arisen a great new quarter in the east, across 
the Rh6ne from the ancient peninsula ; and this new 
town is laid out with broad modern streets crossing: 
each other at right angles, with a few diagonal boule- 
vards and avenues to perfect the system of main thor- 
oughfares. In like manner the attractive hills on the 
west beyond the Sadne have been made a part of the 
city ; and in the north, where the outward curves of 
the two rivers gradually widen the peninsula, therein 
a further development of the modern city. Mean- 
while, since 1855, there has proceeded the difficult task 
of modernizing the ancient quarters, plowing the di- 
rect lines of a main street system through the laby- 
rinth, and introducing sanitary reforms into the con- 
gested districts. The ancient wedge is now connected 
at numerous points with the new quarters east of the 
Rhdne and west of the Sa6ne by handsome bridges, 
while both streams are bordered for a long distance 
with magnificent broad and tree-lined quays. 



Thus the second city of Prance is by no means to 
be despised as an instance of nrban modernization. 

mi_ j. a.a T j j. ! 

The recent civic edifices are numerous and of striking 
architectural merit. In its ancient days Lyons was 
supplied with water by three great Roman aqueducts, 
one of which is said to have been more than fifty miles 
long. The present supply is pumped from the river 
.RhOne at a point some distance above the city, and 
forced by steain-powcrinto reservoirs which are several 
hundred feet higher than the level of the central area, 
Modern fastidiousness in sanitary matters has led to 
measures for the filtration of the water supply and 
for the improvement of the drainage system, al- 
though there will long remain a field for energetic 
effort in the sphere of sanitary ameliorations. 

The chief French provincial towns, if one may gen- 
eralize sweepingly, have indeed much more to show 
the visitor who is attracted by imposing boulevards, 
by elegance in public architecture, by well-kept parks 
and squares, by interesting and artistic monuments, 
and by the other externals of municipal aggrandize- 
ment, than they can reveal to the inquirer who cares 
most for the achievements of sanitary science and for 
kindred social services. In this regard they have 
much to learn from the large British towns, which, 
while less attractive in many of their external appoint- 

,, , T-I1A1JJ-IA 

ments, have as a rule accomplished far better results 
in the provision of pure water and wholesome drain- 
age, in housing reforms, and in aggressive sanitary and 
social administration along various lines. 

Marseilles, the greatest of the French seaports, and 
the French town which ranks next to Lyons in size 
and importance, has held .a most unenviable place 
among the great towns of Europe as regards its health 
conditions. It has suffered from scourge after scourge 
of cholera, smallpox, typhoid fever, and the infectious 
diseases that are especially fatal to children. Its aver- 

CHAP. n. 

Recent pul- 

itc works. 



fo?m s r pro e -" 



Marseilles - 




slums and 
bad sewers. 

An improv- 
ing outlook. 

Growth of 

Area arid 
main thor- 

Work of 
local reform- 

age death-rate through the past thirty years has been 
higher than that of almost any other large town in the 
world with which comparison conld reasonably be 
made. Its location as a cosmopolitan Mediterranean 
port has had something to do with the prevalence of 
infectious diseases, but the fault has rested chiefly 
with its lack of a proper system of sewers, its unre- 
f ormed and densely populated ancient slums, and its 
tardiness in the adoption and energetic enforcement 
of modern sanitary administrative methods. The past 
three or four years have witnessed decidedly hopeful 
improvements in Marseilles, and its thorough sanitary 
regeneration may now be deemed a question of only 
a few years more. Its commercial prosperity has been 
enhanced of late by the joint efforts of the municipal 
authorities, the national government, and the local 
Chamber of Commerce, which is a semi-official and 
governmental institution. Its harbor facilities have 
been greatly improved, and an act of 1893 authorizes 
the further expenditure of twenty million francs for 
harbor works. Its population in the year 1801 was 
111,000. This had grown to more than four hundred 
thousand when the census of 1891 was taken, and the 
commercial and industrial prosperity of the town in- 
sures a steady growth for years to come. 

The existing area, which comprises 22,801 hectares, 
is traversed by numerous boulevards of very imposing 
character, with the Parisian adjuncts of shade-trees, 
good pavements, and effective cleansing services. The 
network of lesser streets has not hitherto been so for- 
tunate in these circumstances of paving and cleans- 
ing. But Marseilles has for some years had its group 
of brilliant and enlightened municipal reformers, who 
have unsparingly cited, for the awakening of their 
fellow citizens, the best results achieved in other 
towns, not only those of Prance but also those of Ger- 



many, Belgium, Italy, England, and even of America. 
The consequences have been gratifying. Since 1890 
the death-rate has shown a declining tendency, which 
it is hoped will not be followed by any reaction. 
Thus the rate of deaths for 1894 was 28 per 1000 of 
population, and the average rate for the five years, 
1890-4, was about 30 ; while for the corresponding 
period ten years earlier the rate was approximately 34. 

Sanitary improvements, if carried out to the full 
measure of the programmes urged by the local lead- 
ers of municipal progress and renovation, would 
promptly reduce the death-rate to 25, and, in a very 
few years, to 20, which was the Paris rate for 1894. 
When sanitary arrangements at Paris were far less 
perfect than they are to-day, the death-rate was forty 
or fif ty per cent, higher than now, and the deaths out- 
numbered the births. But although the Paris birth- 
rate (nearly twenty-five per 1000 in 1894) is a very 
Low one when compared with that of European cities 
outside of France, it has now risen somewhat, while 
the death-rate has steadily declined, and the popula- 
tion begins to show a slight net increase, apart from 
the influx of non-Parisians. 

But speaking in general of the French towns, the 
sad fact remains that their deaths every year exceed 
their births. Thus in Marseilles the deaths for 1894 
were 11,633, and the births only 11,284. In Lyons, the 
year being unusually favorable to health, there were 
9020 deaths and 8333 births. The difference in Lyons 
has been much greater in most years. Thus in 1890 
the deaths were 9832 and the births only 8101. Aver- 
aging a number of consecutive years, the deaths in 
Lyons have been from fifteen per cent, to twenty per 
cent, more numerous than the births. I am optimis- 
tic enough to believe that a balance will have been 
reached at Lyons and Marseilles, and, indeed, that 




with the 
Paris death- 

Births and 

deaths in 


Excess of 
deaths in 
and Lyons. 

Evidences of 

a change for 

the better. 





Births and 

deaths at 


a bad record. 

with a Ger- 
man town. 

there will have been a final turn in the scales, by the 
year 1900. The mortality of infants under one year 
old has begun to show a marked decline, and in vari- 
ous ways the results of an improving sanitary regime 
are making themselves apparent. In Bordeaux, where 
the deaths have usually been from five to fifteen per 
cent, more numerous than the births, the year 1894 
showed a slight excess of births, somewhat less than 
one per cent. As for Lille, the next town in size, the 
balance has been upon the right side for some years, 
and it tends to increase in a satisfactory manner. 
The birth-rate regularly exceeds thirty per 1000, and 
in 1894 the death-rate fell from its former average of 
twenty-five or twenty-six to less than twenty-two ; so 
that the natural increase for the year was about two 
thousand, in a population of 200,000. Toulouse has 
for a number of years presented the dismal spectacle 
of a town with a birth-rate of about nineteen and a 
death-rate of about twenty-six. In 1890 there were 
2592 births and 4119 deaths,- and 740 of the deaths 
were of children less than one year old. In 1894 
there were 2879 births and 3780 deaths, with 498 
deaths of young infants. 

The situation improves, but its unfortunate charac- 
ter can scarcely be comprehended from these sum- 
mary figures except by those accustomed to draw 
inferences from comparative vital statistics. The Ger- 
man town of Elberf eld is similar to Toulouse in popu- 
lation, though a little smaller. The Elberf eld records 
for 1894 show 4555 births, and 2181 deaths, including 
650 deaths of infants (less than one year old). The 
large number of infant deaths in the German town 
must be compared with the high birth-rate. All the 
German and English towns are gaining population 
rapidly by the maintenance of a high birth-rate side 
by side with improvements in health conditions which 



have greatly lowered the death-rate. Thus in 1894 
Leeds and Sheffield, never in times past very famous 
as health resorts, had respectively 6927 and 5994 
deaths, and 12,502 and 11,267 births. The infant 
deaths were 1940 and 1766. Sheffield had as many 
births as Marseilles and only half as many deaths, its 
population being ten or fifteen per cent, smaller. Leeds, 
also smaller than Marseilles, had 1200 more births 
and 4700 less deaths. Frankf ort-on-the-Main is some- 
what like the French cities in the fact of having a low 
birth-rate, and the same remark applies to Stuttgart. 
But these two German cities have of late succeeded in 
reducing their death-rates to seventeen or eighteen per 
1000, while their birth-rates remain at from twenty-six 
to twenty-eight. And it is for the French towns to fol- 
low the sanitary policies that have been so remarkably 
successful in reducing the death-rate of Frankfort and 
Stuttgart. Strassburg and Metz, in the ceded strip, 
retain the French characteristic of a low birth-rate, 
almost evenly balanced by a death-rate of twenty-three 
or thereabouts. In St. Etienne, Nantes, Le Havre, 
Roubaix, Rouen, and other smaller French towns, the 
average figures of births and deaths now nearly offset 
each other, local circumstances differing considerably 
however, since for example the births were strongly 
in excess in Roubaix in 1894, while the deaths heavily 
preponderated in Rouen. The total balance for all the 
important towns of France has hitherto remained upon 
the unfavorable side, with that balance steadily di- 
minishing, and now approaching the vanishing point. 
By the census of 1881 there were found to be forty- 
seven towns in France which had more than 30,000 
inhabitants each. This number had increased to fifty- 
six in 1891, while only 232 of the more than 36,000 
communes had a population exceeding 10,000. The 
sixth in size of the French cities is Toulouse, with 


Leeds and 



with French 


and Stutt- 
gart as in- 
stances of 

and Metz. 

Rouen, and 
other towns. 

Some popu- 
lation fig- 


CHAP. n. nearly 150,000 people in 1891, and the next is St. 
Etienne. The other towns having more than 100,000 
by that census were Nantes, Le Havre, Roubaix, 
Rouen, and Rheims. The list of towns having a popu- 
lation ranging from 30,000 to 100,000 comprises many 
places of great historical fame and of interesting local 
characteristics. As a rule, these French towns were 
walled in the old days, and the comparatively recent 
boulevards, removal of the fortifications has resulted in encircling 
boulevards and has given the towns their most note- 
worthy physical features. 

This description applies notably to Toulouse, one of 
the most ancient of French cities, the capital of old 
Languedoc. Its congestion as a walled city has left a 
legacy of unwholesome conditions that it will require 

npse at * 

a long time to reform. Handsome boulevards replace 
the walls, and a few new streets have within twenty 
years been cut through the close tangle of the inner 
city; but this task of inner reconstruction has made 
only slow advances. In the newer zone, however, out- 
side the former wall of cincture, the town is modern 
in its plan. Its swift river, the Garonne, furnishes a 
water-supply that is fairly good by reason of a system 
of natural filtration, and also suffices to carry off the 
drainage. I have spoken of the high death-rate at 
Toulouse; and the vicious condition of the ancient 
tenements surviving in the heart of the town suffi- 
ciently accounts for it. Such sanitary and street im- 
provements as the municipality has ventured to make 
have been promptly rewarded, as the vital statistics 
have duly testified. 
The visitor who enters France at Le Havre almost 

A note upon . .,, , . i ^ . .,/,/ 

Le Havre, mvanably makes haste to reach Pans, unmindful of 
the two excellent representatives of the French pro- 
vincial city which lie in the valley of the Seine be- 
tween Paris and the sea. Le Havre itself ranks next 


to Marseilles in importance as a French seaport, and CHAP. n. 
although it was once a walled and fortified place, it 
has been recast upon thoroughly modern lines and 
possesses handsome streets with the full complement 
of improvements that modern municipal energy is 
demanding everywhere. The development of the har- 
bor facilities, constantly progressing, is the most im- 
portant and creditable of the public works with which 
the municipality has concerned itself. 

Rouen, which is perhaps eighty miles from Le 
Havre by the course of the Seine, and fifty-five miles 
by rail, is also an important seaport by virtue of the 
great depth of the Seine estuary, whose tidal move- The meta- 
ment extends even beyond Rouen. This city of an- mo ^uenf of 
cient fame, the capital of old Normandy, typifies as 
completely as any other town in France outside of 
Paris the modern processes of reconstruction which 
characterized the Second Empire, and which were at 
the height of their activity in the period from 1860 
to 1870. The historic walls of Rouen maybe perfectly 
traced in the line of broad boulevards which form an 
irregular ellipse around the inner city. In scarcely 
any other French town has the plan of a modern sys- 
tem of main thoroughfares inside the ancient limits 
been so completely carried into execution as in Rouen ; ^ miniature 
and the town might well be described as a miniature Paris, 
edition of Paris. The reminders of Paris are, in- 
deed, very numerous. For example, at Rouen, as at 
Paris, the river Seine has been flanked by miles of 
magnificent stone quays on both banks, and the river 
as thus compressed keeps its own channel deep and 
clear. Eventually Rouen will annex its thriving sub- 
urbs, and it will thus gain rank with the towns of 
approximately 200,000 people. 

A traveler who touches French soil at Calais may 
readily visit the stirring and historic town of Lille, 





The indus- 
trial town of 

Rapid ex- 


The new 

town of St. 


of which I have already said something; and while at 
Lille he should also visit Roubaix, in the immediate 
vicinity. Roubaix is famous as the center of the 
French woolen industry, as Rouen is the center of 
cotton manufacture. It is true of Roubaix as of 
Rouen that the census does not give credit for the 
full population that belongs to the place as a com- 
mercial town. The census of 1891 ascribes to Le 
Havre 116,000, to Roubaix 115,000, and to Rouen 
112,000; but on the very outskirts of Roubaix is 
Tourcoing with a population of more than 65,000, 
and there are other populous manufacturing towns in 
the immediate vicinity. Thus Roubaix stands at the 
center of an urban population of perhaps 250,000, 
where at the opening of the century there were hardly 
10,000 people living. Here we find, therefore, a man- 
ufacturing community which has developed in a man- 
ner comparable with those of the north of England. 

Roubaix forms an exception to the rule of old for- 
tified towns, whose modern street systems take their 
key from boulevards following the lines of obliterated 
walls and moats. But in resuming the journey to 
Paris one passes Amiens, the capital of the ancient 
province of Picardy, a place well worth study for 
what it reveals of the process by which an ancient 
walled city may be turned into a modern boulevarded 
town. St. Btienne, like Roubaix, is a specimen of the 
modern manufacturing town which has sprung up 
rapidly in the nineteenth century, and has no historical 
background. Its street system is strikingly different 
from those of most other French towns, for the sim- 
ple reason that it was never a walled city, and its 
ground-plan, therefore, lacks the usual tendency to- 
ward concentrics and radials. St. Etienne is regarded 
as having grown more rapidly in the last half-century 
than any other French town. It is in the heart of the 



best coal region, not far from Lyons, and is the 
French center for iron and steel manufactures and 
the great metal-working industries, a Sheffield or a 

Not only is the framework of municipal govern- 
ment identical for all these French towns under the 
terms of the general municipal code which I have al- 
ready described, but very many of the active func- 
tions of the municipal corporations are uniform 
throughout the towns, because they are exercised in 
conformity with the requirements of general laws. 
Thus the educational system, while largely in the 
hands of the municipal authorities as a branch of 
local administration, is strictly regulated by national 
enactments. Throughout France primary instruction 
is obligatory and free. School-books and various ap- 
pliances needful in schools are gratuitously supplied. 
Since 1886 the public schools have been entirely in 
Charge of lay teachers. The caisses des 6coles, which I 
have described in my account of educational work in 
Paris, are found in connection with schools through- 
out the whole of France, and have everywhere the 
same characteristics. They possess full authority of 
law, yet leave large room for voluntary action. In 
Marseilles, Lyons, and the other large towns, no less 
than in Paris, the caisse des 6coles looks after the 
health and comfort of the children, supplies warm 
meals from school restaurants, gives shoes and clothes 
to the needy, organizes vacation holiday trips, pro- 
vides prizes for faithfulness and merit, and in a score 
of ways enhances the value of school life and work, 
and promotes the wholesome development of the rising 
generation. The system of Scoles maternelles, under 
which free instruction is given by kindergarten 
methods to the children below six years of age, also 
prevails in all the French towns as well as in Paris. 



methods and 


The system 
of education. 

The caisses 
des ecoles. 



CHAP. ii. Those features of the law which make instruction 
_ _ compulsory between the ages of six and thirteen are 

Compulsory r j o 

instruction, remarkably well enforced ; and particularly since 1890 
the number of French children growing up without 
instruction is too small to be reckoned. It would at 
most constitute less than one per cent. 

The standards of education, from the 6cole mater- 

nelle up to the university, are fixed for the whole coun- 

Nationai try by the central educational authorities, under the 

control of , T , n n , n i i j 

education, general oversight of the minister of public instruction. 
The normal schools, which instruct the teachers, are 
jointly national and departmental, and the examina- 
tion of all teachers is conducted under the auspices 
of the higher authorities. Thus the criteria of excel- 
lence are uniform throughout France, and the great 

Teachers be arm y ^ tochers, men and women, constitute a branch 

long to the of the national civil service. Teachers' salaries are 
service! ' regulated on a scale prescribed by the national gov- 
ernment. The employment and assignment of teach- 
ers belongs to the departmental school authorities, 
with the prefect in general control. Appointments are 
made in a businesslike fashion from the departmental 
lists of applicants who have passed the examinations 
and have been duly certificated and registered. 
The municipal school board is presided over by the 

Municipal mayor, and most of its members are designated by the 
boards, city council, usually, though not necessarily, from 
its own membership. The board also contains, how- 
ever, one or more of the school inspectors, who are the 
appointed representatives of the higher educational 
machinery of the nation. French school legislation 
since 1880 has been not merely voluminous but also 
of the most intelligent and valuable character. It has 
forced good methods into the remotest hamlets, has 
made it obligatory upon the municipalities and com- 
munes to provide suitable buildings, and has given 



universality to those attractive side-features of school 
life which I have endeavored to describe in my ac- 
count of the schools of Paris. In particular, it has 

- - , , in / 1 - 

endeavored to promote every phase of practical m- 
struction for the development of health and physique 
and the skilful use of eye and hand, and has made it 
the duty of the schools to teach the principles of mo- 
rality, industry, and thrift, and of household and busi- 
ness economics, together with the keenest type of 
French patriotism. 

For the larger towns, the general government has 
been ready to subsidize apprentice schools and practi- 
cal trade and technical institutions, while the munici- 
pal councils themselves have shown a commendable 
zeal in this direction. At Lille, for example, there 
has lately been completed a magnificent institution 
for the training of young men who are to supply the 
knowledge and skill that the great textile and chemi- 
cal industries of the north of France will require. At 
St. Etienne, the technical instruction naturally gives 

. , \ . , . . . . j ATL 

special emphasis to mining engineering and the pro- 

n j. i i TA.TUT -n j Ii. 

cesses of metal-working. At Marseilles and some other 
southern centers, the ceramic arts, with other lines of 
manufacture, are especially provided for in the techni- 
cal schools. In all the important towns, moreover, 
one finds schools of the fine arts and of artistic de- 
signing, supported by the municipalities and subsi- 
dized by the general government, while commercial 
schools, in like manner supported as public institu- 
tions, are found in every town of importance. 

The organization of assistance publique throughout 
France employs precisely the same principles and 
methods which I have set forth as in operation in the 
department of the Seine. Each of the other depart- 
ments of France has its general task of supervision, 
while the municipalities and smaller communes in turn 

CHAP. n. 

spirit of 

SCh 01 life 

and work. 



trade schools 

in all indus- 

trial centers. 

poor relief. 



of bureaux 

CHAP. ii. possess their local boards of assistance publique and 
their bureaux de bienf aisance. There are in Prance from 
15,000 to 16,000 of these bureaux de bienf aisance, car- 
rying on their work in a manner quite in keeping with 
that which I have described as pertaining to the twenty 
bureaus in the Paris arrondissements. The mayor 
is at the head of the municipal bureau, unless he may 
have designated one of his adjuncts to represent him 
in that capacity. The municipal council is represented 
by two or three members which it designates; and 
several other members, usually four, are selected for 
four-year terms (one going out each year) by the pre- 
fect of the department, either from the municipal 
council, from other official or professional quarters, 
or from the non-official citizens who are interested in 
public charity. About these official bureaux de bien- 
f aisance as charity-centers one finds that most of the 
volunteer work of poor relief has learned to rally, for 
the advantages of union and concentration. Many 
thousands of volunteer helpers, like the commissaires 
and dames de charit6 of Paris, whose work I have 
described, are found aiding the provincial bureaux de 
bienf aisance. As for the care of the insane, the main- 
tenance of establishments for the blind and for deaf- 
mutes, the administration of the laws relating to the 
succor and care of unfortunate children, these mat- 
ters, as well as the system of penal institutions, belong 
to the administration of the respective departments 
rather than to the municipal governments. 

The public pawnshop (mont-de-pieU) is a munici- 
pal institution which exists in more than forty of the 
chief provincial cities and towns of France. The mont- 
de-piet6 is carried on under the control of a board or 
commission, over which the mayor always presides. 
The other members of the board are selected in three 
equal parts from (1) the members of the municipal 

The munici- 



council, (2) the administrators of charitable institu- 
tions, and (3) the other citizens of the town. The 
benefits of these institutions in Lyons, Bordeaux, Mar- 
seilles, Lille, Rouen, and other populous industrial 
towns, are not one whit less than those conferred 
upon the working-people of Paris by the great metro- 
politan mont-de-pi6t6 system which I have described 
in the previous chapter. 

Much more universal throughout France than the 
monts-de-piet6 are the caisses d'6pargne, or savings- 
banks. These are to be found in all the important 
towns, without exception. At the opening of 1894 
there were 543 municipal and local savings-banks, with 
branches and receiving offices which increased the 
total number of places where savings might be de- 
posited to somewhat more than two thousand. In very 
many instances one finds the savings-bank itself lo- 
cated in an important town, with its branch offices in 
outlying villages for the convenience of depositors. 
The development of the savings-bank system, under 
the joint auspices of the municipal governments and 
local societies of public-spirited citizens, must be 
deemed one of the most significant and important 
phases of social progress that can be observed in 
France. Taking the entire population of the country, 
one finds that for the year 1893 there were 6,173,000 
depositors in these municipal savings-banks, or 161 
for every 1000 of the population. Thus for every six 
men, women, and children in France there is a muni- 
cipal savings-bank account, the average value of which 
exceeds 500 francs. The total yearly deposits in these 
banks is now, in round figures, 1,000,000,000 francs, 
while the accumulation of deposits at any given mo- 
ment is considerably in excess of 3,000,000,000 francs. 
I have not included in these statistics the figures that 
belong to the national postal savings-bank system, 



growth of 
the system. 

The postal 




A bank ac- 
count for 
every family 
in France. 

in state obli- 

Analysis of 


which, though much younger and less important 
than the municipal savings-banks, is showing a 
rapid development. Thus in 1893 the national postal 
system was patronized by 2,327,000 depositors, who 
confided to it more than 335,000,000 francs of their 

Summing up the two systems, therefore, one finds a 
savings-bank account for every f our and a half peo- 
ple, or to speak in a general way, one for every family. 
The national postal savings-bank system was begun 
in 1882, and so rapid has been its progress that at the 
end of 1894 it could show about 2,500,000 depositors. 
As for the municipal system, the number of depositors 
has multiplied threefold in twenty years. The sav- 
ings-banks are prudently managed under national 
surveillance, atnd the local commissions which super- 
vise their operations are composed of citizens who 
serve without pay. The funds are almost entirely in- 
vested in the obligations of the state ; and thus the 
savings-bank systems are a powerful supporter of the 
national credit, and their existence and remarkable 
popular success help to explain in part the ease with 
which the governmental financiers have been able to 
manage an immense interest-bearing debt. An analy- 
sis of the depositors shows that the vast majority be- 
long to the laboring and industrial classes. The small 
shopkeepers form a considerable element, and the con- 
tingent of minors of both sexes is exceedingly large. 
Numerous as are the savings-bank patrons in Paris, 
the number is still greater proportionally among the 
working-people of Lyons, Marseilles, Bordeaux, St. 
Btienne, Orl6ans ? and many other industrial centers. 

The French municipal treasuries derive their in- 
comes from two principal sources. One of these is the 
system of direct taxes, the other is the octroi, or local 
customs system. The direct taxes collected for local 


purposes are levied by means of so-called centimes ad- CHAP. u. 

ditionnels. To understand the levy of these centimes 

additionnels it is necessary to glance for a moment 

at the French system of direct taxes. This system is 

one of long standing, and it has become fixed in the _ .. . 

_ , . e . rm -. . The direct 

habits of the nation. There are several important taxes. 
direct taxes. The first of these is the contribution 
fonci&re, a tax levied on the value of land and build- 
ings, the building improvements being assessed sep- 
arately from the land. Another is levied upon all 
house-occupiers, based upon the amount of rent they 
pay, with extra levies for each servant kept. Still 
another takes the form of an elaborate, graduated 
series of taxes upon business callings of various kinds, 
and may be considered an annual trade-license sys- 
tem. These schemes of direct taxation exist primarily 
for the benefit of the national treasury. The rates of 
levy are fixed from year to year in the national budget, 
and the amount to be collected by means of each of 
the different direct taxes is determined. Apportion- 
ment is made by the national authorities to the eighty- 

-i , j. ITMT i j. -i j-i ! Local appor- 

seven departments. The departmental authorities, in tionment. 
turn, apportion the sums to be raised among the ar- 
rondissements. The arrondissement councils proceed 
to distribute the burden to the communes, great and 

The taxes thus falling upon real estate, upon house- 
holders, and upon business pursuits are heavy enough 
to make it seem practically out of the question to raise 
the sum total of local revenues by assessments of the 
same nature. Nevertheless, it is found convenient to 
provide a considerable part of the local income by the The "cen~ 

.it- / t i -i n i times ad- 

Very simple device of adding something for municipal 

purposes to the direct tax-rates before any collection 
is made. These local augmentations are known as the 
centimes additionnels. A centime is the hundreth part 



CHAP. ii. of a franc; and thus if the amount which a given 
municipality must collect for the departmental and 
national treasuries by means of a tax on land and 
houses is one hundred thousand francs, an imposi- 
tion for local purposes of fifty centimes additionnels 
would mean that the total amount to be collected 
from real estate is one hundred and fifty thousand 
francs, of which fifty thousand will be retained for 
the local treasury, and a hundred thousand remitted 
to the superior fiscal authorities. Subject to the ap- 
proval of the prefects, there is a wide range of discre- 
tion permitted to the municipal councils in the extent 
to which they may employ the device of the centimes 
additionnels, and the practice in different places va- 
ries widely. A recent copy of the annual report upon 
the financial operations of all the communes of France 
shows that the average was fifty-four centimes addi- 
tionnels for the year 1893, which simply means that 
of the amounts collected by direct taxes the com- 
munes retained for local purposes a little more than 
one-third. The proportion varies greatly, however, 
in the different French towns. 

For most towns having more than four thousand 
inhabitants, however, the largest source of income is 
the octroi system. The total amounts collected by 
the authorities of the 1513 municipal octroi systems 
in 1893 was in excer,s of 303,000,000 francs. About 
one third of this amount was collected upon wines 
and other alcoholic liquors. Food-supplies yielded 
approximately one third, and the remainder may be 
ascribed to building materials, fuel, and other heavy 
substances. It happens that the octroi revenues are 
almost evenly divided between Paris and the other 
fifteen hundred towns. 

In general it may be said that all French towns of 
considerable size rely upon the octroi receipts as their 

The octroi 

The chief 
source of in- 



principal source of municipal revenue. Thus the town 
of Lyons, whose ordinary receipts for 1893 were about 
twelve million six hundred thousand francs, derived 
8,750,000 from the octroi. Of the nearly four million 
francs remaining, perhaps half was derived from the 
centimes additionnels, while the rest accrued from a 
variety of sources, including the incomes of produc- 
tive municipal departments. The receipts of Mar- 
seilles for the same year somewhat exceeded fifteen 
million francs, of which the octroi yielded 9,000,000 
francs of ordinary revenue and 2,000,000 francs for 
special purposes. The municipal income of Lille was 
somewhat less than seven million francs, and the 
octroi yielded 5,000,000. Roubaix derived 2,500,000 
francs from the octroi system, the total income of the 
municipality being 4,135,000 francs. Rouen, whose 
revenues were 4,800,000 francs, obtained 3,700,000 
francs from the octroi. Le Havre, with receipts 
slightly exceeding four million nine hundred thou- 
sand francs, derived 3,500,000 from the octroi. Tou- 
louse, whose income was not quite five million francs, 
was indebted to the octroi for 3,280,000 francs. These 
instances, which are entirely representative, will suffice 
to show how large a factor the octroi system is in the 
finances of the French municipalities. 

The octroi system is to be viewed as an historical 
fact. If it were non-existent, it is scarcely conceivable 
that any one would seriously advocate its establish- 
ment as a method for the collection of local revenues. 
In the smaller towns the system is undoubtedly an 
expensive one, although I am not inclined to consider 
the cost of the maintenance of the octroi as the princi- 
pal argument against its employment for the larger 
towns. The octroi is by no means a compulsory ar- 
rangement, and the law provides for a suppression of 
the system by any locality which chooses to dispense 


of Lyons 
and Mar- 

Of Lille, 


Rouen, and 

Le Havre. 

As to the 


and future of 

the octrois. 


CHAP, ii with it, after a careful investigation, in which the 
higher authorities participate. The point of the in- 
quiry would have to do with the question whether or 
not the community could safely and satisfactorily sub- 
stitute other sources of revenue. As yet, no towns of 
importance have emancipated themselves from the gir- 
dle of local custom-houses. If the finances of the na- 
tional government justified the abandonment of the 
direct property taxes, so that these might be exclu- 
sively available for local purposes, there would un- 
questionably be a rapid movement among the towns 
for the abolition of the octroi ; and with such a move- 
ment fairly initiated, the whole system would be 
doomed. When the longed-for era of disarmament 
arrives, and national expenditures are correspond- 
ingly lightened, it will perhaps become feasible to ac- 
cord to localities the full benefit of real-estate taxation, 
with the proviso that the octroi system, which is one 
of the few medieval survivals in the institutions of 
France, shall be totally obliterated. 

While the debts of the French towns are by no 
means insignificant, it happens that the debt of the 
commune of Paris alone is much in excess of the sum 
M debt2 ml total of the indebtedness of all other communes, great 
and small. Thus the official reports for 1892 show 
that whereas the capitalized interest-bearing debt of 
Paris amounted to Somewhat more than 1,920,000,000 
francs, the aggregate indebtedness of all the other 
communes of France was 1,373,000,000. The debt of 
Marseilles was in that year 106,000,000 francs, this 
outlay being represented by various public improve- 
ments, principally, however, those pertaining to har- 
bor facilities. The debt of Lyons was 86,500,000 
francs, that of Le Havre (largely for harbor improve- 
ments) 48,000,000 francs, that of Rouen 41,000,000 
francs, and that of Lille 40,000,000. The description 


I have given of the modernization of street systems in CHAP. " 
the French provincial capitals will readily explain a 
considerable share of the outstanding indebtedness, 
while improved water-supplies, sewers, new school 
buildings, public abattoirs, and various architectural 
and sanitary improvements would sufficiently account 
for the rest. 
I am inclined to believe that the conditions of life The general 

T-i -i . outlook for 

in the French provincial towns are destined to improve municipal 
very rapidly in the course of the coming decade or France. 1 " 
two, and that, for France at least, the rate of move- 
ment of population from the country to the towns is 
destined to increase somewhat rather than to dimin- 
ish. On the other hand, the distinction between town 
and country in France is likely to become less em- 
phatic, inasmuch as the suburban tendency begins to 
make itself felt, the compactness and density of town 
life having already passed its maximum and begun to 
grow appreciably less. Improved transit systems will 
rapidly widen the area of municipalization ; and thus 
the country at large will become more urban in the 
character of its improvements, while the towns will 
become more countrified, by reason of their tree-lined 
thoroughfares, their outlying parks, and their villa- 
built suburbs. 




The French 

system as a 



FT1HE account that has been given of the character 
JL and historical development of the French system 
of municipal administration will make it a compara- 
tively brief and simple task to outline the systems of 
several adjacent countries. It has been stated in the 
opening paragraph of this volume that French influ- 
ence was dominant in the modern revision of the ad- 
ministrative framework of other European peoples; 
and this remark applies particularly to Belgium, Hol- 
land; Spain, French-speaking Switzerland, and Italy. 
Each of these countries has modified the French sys- 
tem in numerous ways for its own practical uses; 
yet all of their municipal codes of to-day may for our 
purposes be regarded as so many variations of one 
general type. The differences of detail are much 
greater than those that distinguish from each other 
the English, Scotch, and Irish systems; but on the 
other hand they are much less than those that mark 
the systems of different states in the United States. 

The Belgian provinces with approximately their 
present bounds are very ancient, and were practi- 
cally independent of one another until the House of 
Burgundy, in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, 
knit them together with a centralized administration 
which has from that time to the present day given 
them a common destiny. After the crumbling of the 




Carlovingian Empire, the Belgian provinces had come 
under the rule of feudal princes and barons, whose 
sway had in turn been broken down by the rise of 
the " communes," or municipalities, a movement be- 
ginning in the eleventh century. The communes 
reached a very high degree of prosperity, privilege, 
and local autonomy in the thirteenth, fourteenth, and 
fifteenth centuries. The great part which the feudal 
princes of Belgium played in the Crusades had en- 
abled the communes the more successfully to assert 
themselves. Each commune, with its elected council 
and its college of magistrates, composed of a burgo- 
master and several 6ehevins, formed in itself a minia- 
ture free state. The House of Burgundy superimposed 
a superior central administration upon provinces each 
of which had already its long-standing provincial or- 
ganization and its highly developed communal system. 
In order to produce a larger unity, the measures which 
depressed and enfeebled the communes in the fifteenth 
century and subsequently were perhaps justified. 
We are accustomed to regard the virility of Anglo- 
Saxon institutions as due in large part to the persist- 
ence of the old-time local units of government, the 
townships. It is, however, well to remember that the 
French and Belgian communes are as ancient and 
as worthy of respect as the Anglo-Saxon townships. 
Modern constitutional improvements in Belgium have 
been wisely grafted upon the ancient structure of 
provinces and communes. 

The economic character of the pre-Revolutionary 
r6gime in Belgium was far from being so bad as that 
of France. In Belgium, in the eighteenth century, 
the nobles and the Church bore their respective shares 
of taxation, and the masses were comparatively com- 
fortable. The more violent phases of the French Rev- 
olution were fortunately not witnessed in Belgium, 





Historic dig- 
nity of the 

Belgium and 
the French 




Annexed to 

A trans- 
forming ex- 


Union with 

while the beneficent and just principles of the new po- 
litical philosophy of France had free course and gen- 
eral acceptance in the neighbor country. In 1794 
Belgium was annexed by the French Republic, and it 
shared the fortunes of France until the downfall of 
Napoleon in 1814. Compared with the old France, 
the old Belgium was certainly an elysium; but its 
society was lethargic and unprogressive. The Revo- 
lution and the French intrusion made an awakening 
that was exceedingly rough and uncomfortable, but 
thoroughly beneficial in the end. As a primary-school 
summary of Belgian history quaintly remarks : A la 
suite de la victoire de Fleurus, la Belgique passe & la 
France, dont le regime a ses rigueurs, mais nous pro- 
cure de pr6cieuses Iibert6s." The transformation 
wrought in a very few years is well summed up by a 
spirited Belgian historian : " 1789, c'est la vieille Bel- 
gique, la Belgique provinciale et communale, telle que 
Pont form6e les si&cles, avec ses antiques privileges, 
ses rouages compliques, ses classes juxtaposees, ses 
trois 6tats, son clerg6 tout-puissant, son esprit par- 
ticulariste et conservateur 1799, c'est la Belgique 
nouvelle, la Belgique unif 6e, telle que Pa mode!6e le 
clair g6nie de la France, avec son administration sim- 
ple, sa egalit6 civique, son clerg6 fonctionnaire, son 
esprit centralisateur et progressif ." The existing civil 
and criminal code;!;, the machinery of civil adminis- 
tration, and the arrangements and procedure of ju- 
dicial tribunals have grown essentially out of those 
introduced from France in the Napoleonic period. 

The allied powers, convened at Paris in 1814 to ar- 
range terms of peace with France, determined upon 
the fusion of Belgium and Holland, and the estab- 
lishment of the kingdom of the Low Countries, under 
the rule of the Prince of Orange as William I. The 
new power was erected upon the basis of a constitu- 



tal Law of 

tional document known as "the Fundamental Law qf CHAP. m. 
1815 j * and a very liberal charter it was, when one 
considers the mood in which the conquerors were, 
and their dislike of advanced and "Frenchified" po- 
litical notions. It had been adopted by Holland in 
1814, and its benefits were extended to Belgium by 
the fusion of the following year. The Fundamental 
Law recognized most of " the rights of man," gave the 
provinces and communes their own administration, 
and, in short, established modern representative in- 
stitutions. But while the government of William was 
in the main advantageous and just, it was in minor 
respects exceedingly unpopular and obnoxious in the 
Belgian provinces. The Belgians for the most part 
talked French, and they disliked Dutch as the official 
language. Holland was Protestant, while Belgium 
was intensely Catholic, and the Church found itself 
uncomfortably fettered. Dutch views seemed to pre- 

., . ", . , , T . ,. 

vail m everything, to the growing exasperation of 
the Belgians, who felt themselves under a foreign 
yoke rather than an integral part of a self-governing 
country. The Belgians all admit that what they term 
the regime Jiollandais was highly favorable to the de- 
velopment of their industry and commerce, and no- 
table for the great impulse given to education ; but 
while acknowledging and respecting the many supe- 
rior qualities of the Netherlanders, the Belgians found 
the union ill-assorted and incompatible. They ad- 
mired the Dutch as neighbors, but could not endure 
to keep house with them. In 1830, they pronounced 
themselves divorced from a union which had been 
forced upon them without their consent by the Trea- 
ties of Paris and the Congress of Vienna, and they 
succeeded in maintaining an independence which at 
first was viewed unfavorably by Europe and vigor- 
ously opposed by Holland. A provisional govern - 


The " regime 

in 1830. 



tional con- 
vention of 

CHAP. m. ment declared Belgium an independent state, and 
called a national congress to adopt a constitution. 

Few constitutional assemblies have ever been more 
thoroughly representative, and few have ever shown 
a higher degree of political sagacity, than that which 
assembled at Brussels in November, 1830, and com- 
pleted its labors in the following February. Within 
a period of about forty years Europe and America had 
witnessed a series of most remarkable constitutional 
experiments. New principles had been developed, and 
what we term the modern era of constitutionalism had 
fairly set in. There were in this convention a num- 
ber of able and brilliant men, and the discussions 
were of the most important character. Some of the 
two hundred members believed that the time had 
come to establish a republic; and, with the House of 
Orange forever excluded by a formal vote, the ques- 
tion seemed to rest upon its pure merits. It was de- 
cided, after a discussion of the actual situation, do- 
mestic and foreign, that an hereditary constitutional 
monarchy, with ministerial responsibility, and with 
large provision for provincial and communal home- 
rule, would be the best form of government for Bel- 
gium, and only thirteen votes dissented, although the 
republic was frankly avowed by many to be their ideal. 
The sovereignty of the people was, however, declared, 
and not a vestige cf the divine right of kings was left 
in the reconstituted system. The nature and limita- 
tions of the monarchy were, fortunately, determined 
before the monarch himself was selected. 

The Belgian constitution-makers of 1830 understood 
the nature of their task. It was theirs to preserve in 
unified and harmonious form the old institutions of 
the provinces and communes, and to weave into the 
new fabric those modern liberties, individual and so- 
cial, which the French Revolution had rescued from 




the debris of feudalism, and which the French regime 
in Belgium had left as an imperishable souvenir in 
the political creeds, if not in the ordinary practice of 
the country. Then there was the very respectable 
constitution of Holland, which a joint commission of 
Belgian and Dutch notables had revised in 1815, and 
under which the people of the two countries had now 
lived for fifteen years. This document might well be 
taken as the basis of comparison, the point of depar- 
ture. Then the French Revolution of 1830 had pro- 
duced exemplary legislative changes. Good use, more- 
over, was to be made of English and American expe- 
rience ; and, finally, there were, in the precise Belgian 
situation and in the causes that had led to the Revo- 
lution of 1830, many things to tax the critical and the 
constructive faculties of the national assembly. The 
result was not only one of the clearest and most scien- 
tific instruments of organic law ever drafted by any 
man or body of men, but also one of the best in point 
of practical fitness. The revolutionary waves of 1848 
and 1870 which swept across Europe were quite with- 
out effect in Belgium, where the people were already 
in the enjoyment of substantial constitutional liber- 
ties. Full freedom of worship, of instruction, of the 
press and the theater, of assembly and association, of 
petition, of language, these social rights, only partly 
protected under the regime hollandais, were specifi- 
cally guaranteed in the constitution of 1831, together 
with those individual rights of perfect equality before 
the law, and of inviolability of domicile and property 
that have had more universal recognition. 

The nine provinces (Antwerp, Brabant, East Flan 
ders, West Flanders, Hainaut, Lifege, Limbourg, Lux- 
embourg, and Namur), whose lines were revised by the 
French on the analogy of their new " departments," 
have each their elective assembly, known as provincial 


Sources of 

the new 




The nine 





The governor 
and his func- 

The com- 
munes and 
the munici- 
pal govern- 

The elective 

councils ; these bodies varying in number, according to 
the provincial population, from forty-one in Liinbourg 
to ninety-two in East Flanders. The assembly meets in 
a brief annual session at the chief town of the pro- 
vince, and deals with matters of purely provincial 
concern. Councilors are elected for four years, half 
of them retiring every two years. The most impor- 
tant work of the council is done by a standing com- 
mittee of six members (la deputation permanente), 
which acts as a governor's administrative council. 
The provincial governor corresponds to the French 
prefect, being appointed by the king, and having ex- 
ecutive authority in the name of the general govern- 
ment. But the Belgian province has a somewhat 
larger measure of autonomy than the French " depart- 
ment." For certain judicial and electoral purposes 
the provinces are divided into cantons and arron- 
dissements; but these are merely territorial circum- 
scriptions, and have no corporate character. The es- 
sential internal divisions of Belgium are the provinces 
and communes. There are 2600 communes, each 
with its municipal government. Some of them are 
densely filled with an urban population, and others 
are mere rural townships; but each has its elected 
council, its burgomaster, and its 6chevins. The size 
of these municipal councils varies with the popula- 
tion, from nine or ten members in the smallest to 
thirty or more in the large places. 

Unlike the French, the Belgians have never adopted 
the plan of universal suffrage. The Flemish and Bel- 
gian constitution-makers of 1815 and 1830 were con- 
servative upon this question of the franchise; and 
restrictions were imbedded in the fundamental law 
which it was almost impossible to dislodge. The con- 
stitution withstood attack until 1893, when the old 
system was changed in a manner which I shall pro- 



ceed to explain. But it may be well first to sum up 
the electoral arrangements which were in existence 
until that time. The payment of direct taxes to the 
state was made the condition of voting, and the con- 
stitution provided that the sum should be determined 
from time to time by law, the maximum being one hun- 
dred florins, and the minimum twenty florins. At 
first a schedule was enacted which made different 
rates for town and country, and also for different 
provinces, the average rate being much higher than 
the constitutional minimum. But in 1848, under the 
influence of the universal wave of democratic feeling, 
the differences were all abolished, and the minimum 
of twenty florins was made the uniform qualification, 
by unanimous vote of both Chambers. It should be 
remembered that this sum (42.32 francs, equal to 
about $8.50) was to be paid as direct taxes to the 
state, and that payment of provincial and municipal 
taxes did not count toward electoral qualification. 
When in 1893 the system was changed by constitu- 
tional amendment, there were only about 130,000 
voters, one in thirteen of the adult males, or one in 
fifty of the population. 

For a long time there was very little agitation in 
any quarter for an extension of the suffrage, and the 
system was destined to remain as it was until the in- 
tellectual emancipation of the masses had made much 
greater progress. Under the existing system of com- 
pulsory education the reproach of illiteracy is fast 
disappearing. In 1880, forty-two per cent, of the pop- 
ulation above fifteen years of age was absolutely illit- 
erate, while all but about twenty-nine per cent, of the 
children between seven and fifteen could read and 
write. The statistics of 1890 showed a very marked 
improvement, illiterates above the age of fifteen having 
fallen from 42 per cent, to 26.9 per cent, in a single 


The system 
prior to 1893. 

One voter 
for fifty 

Decrease of 



CHAP. in. 



for voting, 

An instruct- 


sub'ects re 
quired for 

decade. In deference to the demands of a growing 
popular intelligence, there was enacted in 1883 a law 
establishing an educational qualification for the pro- 

. _ , . . * m . . , -, -, , 

vincial and communal franchise. This new law added 
to the electoral lists two classes of persons, irrespec- 
tive of tax-paying : first, all persons exercising speci- 
fied liberal professions, holders of diplomas from 
specified classes of institutions, occupants of impor- 
tant official, commercial, and social positions under 
specified conditions, and so on through a carefully 
elaborated schedule ; and second, those who should 
pass successfully an electoral examination, the de- 
tails of which were prescribed in the law. 

Educational qualification has been much discussed 
theoretically, both in Europe and America, but has 
had very meager practical trial anywhere. This Bel- 
gian experiment was the more interesting for that 
reason. The requirements were made to correspond 
in a general way with the amount and kind of know- 
ledge included in the compulsory school courses, the 
intention being that the boy who had completed his 
school attendance should be well prepared, with a 
little reviewing, to take the electoral examination. 
The programme of obligatory instruction in Belgian 
schools included reading, writing, arithmetic, the le- 
gal system of weights and measures, the elements of 
the French, Flemish, or German language (according 
to the province or locality), geography, Belgian his- 
tory and civil government, drawing, singing, gym- 
nastics, and the principles of agriculture in schools of 
rural communes. The electoral examination embraced 
^ *^ ese subjects except drawing, singing, gymnastics, 
and agriculture. As originally enacted, the law re- 
quired the presentation of school certificates as a pre- 
liminary; but this demand was afterward modified. 
The candidate had to be fully eighteen years old. 


(He was not, of course, to exercise the franchise until CHAP. in. 
he was twenty-one.) He might have his examination 
in the French, Flemish, or German language, and 
<?hoose between an evening and a Sunday sitting. 

mi_ j.- i i T i itr T A i . Conductor 

The examinations were held in March of each year in examination. 
the chief town of every canton, and the state railways 
carried the candidates up to the ordeal and home 
again at half price. The examinations were conducted 
by "juries of three " members each, named by the 
minister of the interior. Each jury was composed of 
a principal or leading instructor in a middle school of 
the state system, a like educator from a private mid- 
dle school, and a third person not engaged in educa- 
tional work, who acted as president. The answers 
were wholly in writing, and the questions to be sub- 
mitted were selected by lot, in the presence of the 
candidates, from a very large list prepared and pub- 
lished by the government. 

The current lists held good for a period of four years, 
and it was the privilege of the candidate to study all 
the questions at his leisure, in advance. Publishers 
issued the questions with answers annexed, to make 
" cramming" as easy as possible. But the examina- 
tion was, nevertheless, far from being a farce. The 
official questionnaire contained one hundred numbered Hsts! n 
passages, averaging about one hundred and fifty words 
each, from the writings of standard authors. A num- 
ber was drawn, and the corresponding passage was 
slowly dictated to the candidates, to test at once their 
ability to read, write, and spell. To answer the ques- 
tions on the history of Belgium (111 in the question- 
naire) required a remarkably thorough knowledge, 
involving also much of general European history from 
the time of Caesar to the middle of the present cen- 
tury ; while the fifty or more questions on the prin- 
ciples of the Belgian constitution called for know- 



The system 
in practice. 

CHAP. in. ledge both accurate and mature. The geography 
questions numbered nearly two hundred, and re- 
quired a minute knowledge of Belgium, a very thor- 
ough acquaintance with the natural and political fea- 
tures of Europe, and a fair knowledge of the whole 
world. One hundred and fifty problems in general 
arithmetic were given, and as many more dealt with 
measures of length, measures of surface, measures of 
volume and capacity, with weights, and with money. 
Questions from each category were successively drawn. 
The precautions to insure fairness were many and ef- 
fective. Resident electors were allowed to be repre- 
sented by witnesses, who observed that all was done 
in the interest of fair play. The examination papers 
were collected, sealed in a package, and transmitted 
to the examining board of some other canton, selected 
by lot, to be read and marked. Reading and writing 
together counted for ten points, and the other five 
branches for five points each. To pass the examina- 
tion and receive a diploma it was necessary to have 
gained at least twenty-one points out of a possible 
thirty-five. The requirements seemed rather formi- 
dable ; but they were open to a liberal construction, so 
that if the candidate were but able to write legibly, to 
spell respectably, to solve ordinary every-day prob- 
lems in figures, and to use current weights and mea- 
sures, he might fail in history and. geography and still 
pass the ordeal. An examination system can never 
be free from all objections ; and Belgium's had per- 
haps as few as any ever devised. 

The body of provincial and communal electors 
gradually became vastly larger than that of the legis- 
lative electors. Only those who paid forty-two francs 
of direct state taxes voted for senators and represen- 
tatives. For provincial elections the limit had been 
reduced to twenty francs, and for the municipal fran- 

Growth of 
the munici- 
pal voting 


chise to ten francs, direct taxes paid to the treasury CHAP. in. 
of the state alone being reckoned. The enrolment 
of individuals by virtue of professions and positions 
(capacitaires de droit), and of those who passed the 
educational test (capacitaires aprh examen), reinforced 
the number of those possessing the property qualifi- 
cation (censitaires) as regards the provincial and mu- 
nicipal elections. 

In 1893, after a memorable period of agitation, the 
electoral clauses of the constitution were changed. Extensionof 
For the election of members of the Chamber of Rep- J lie national 

* franchise in 

resentatives, every male citizen twenty-five years old, is^s. 
who had been a year in the commune where he was 
domiciled, was given one vote. An additional or plu- 
ral vote was given to married men or widowers over 
thirty-five years old having children, provided they 
paid as much as five francs a year as a house-occu- 
pancy tax. Finally, two additional votes (three al- pluralvotes - 
together) were accorded to professional men and 
others having diplomas of higher instruction, while a 
plural vote was also allowed to real-estate owners. 
This arrangement increased the number of legislative 
votes almost tenfold. Qualifications for choosing 
senators were made the same, except that senatorial 
voters must be thirty years old. 

A law was passed in 1894 which made the qualifica- 
tions for the election of provincial councils the same *JJ jg] n - 
as those for the election of senators. It was not un- rate, 1394. 
til April, 1895, that the municipal and communal fran- 
chise was revised. Until that time the local electors 
were those above the age of twenty-one who paid di- Municipal 
rect taxes of ten francs, together with others entitled of 1395. 
to vote under the educational qualifications. But the 
new law of 1895 absolutely disfranchises every man un- 
der the age of thirty. Every citizen above that age 
is entitled to one vote at a municipal election, pro- 




ary votes to 
fathers of 

A conserva- 
tive electo- 

suffrage and 
tion rejected. 

test repealed. 


chosen on 



vided he has been a resident of the place for three 
years. A supplementary vote is given to family men 
above the age of thirty-five who are assessed a certain 
sum as householders. This sum is fifteen francs in 
places having more than ten thousand inhabitants, 
five francs in communes of less than two thousand, 
and ten francs in those having from two to ten thou- 
sand people. A second supplementary vote is granted 
to property owners who derive a revenue of at least 
one hundred and fifty francs a year from real estate. 

Thus (1) the total exclusion of men who are under 
thirty, and (2) the requirement of a three years 7 resi- 
dence, practically eliminate from the Belgian municipal 
electorate the great majority of unmarried men and 
all the floating industrial element. The second vote 
allowed to tax-paying house-occupiers with families, 
and the third vote to real-estate owners, give assured 
control of municipal affairs to the well-to-do classes. 
The workingmen of the labor unions, and the large 
socialist element, clamored in vain for universal suf- 
frage. The Liberal party would have preferred a 
more popular system, and the leaders of Liberalism 
were strongly committed to the principle of propor- 
tional representation in the choice of municipal coun- 
cils. But the Conservative or Catholic party, which 
was in control of the government, insisted upon mak- 
ing the local suffrage more restricted than the na- 
tional. With the new system, of course, educational 
qualification as adopted in 1883 disappeared altogether. 

The municipal councils continue to be elected by 
the qualified voters on general tickets for terms of six 
years, half of the number being chosen every three 
years. The ward system has never commended itself 
to the Belgians. It happens that a majority of the 
propertied and intelligent classes in the large towns 
belong to the Liberal party, and that the restrictions 



upon the franchise have always operated in favor of 
the very party which has advocated a more demo- 
cratic system. The situation involves a curious po- 
litical paradox. The Conservative position in the 

r ,,, , . , 

municipalities would be much stronger with propor- 
tional representation, which the Liberals advocate; 
but the Conservative majority in the national legisla- 
ture insists upon the maintenance of a system in the 
local elections which has long kept the Conservative 
or Catholic Church party despite its overwhelming 
influence with the masses from controlling the mu- 
nicipal governments of any of the large towns. 

The Belgians have adopted a form of secret ballot 
that is worth attention as being better in some respects 
than any in use elsewhere. The ordinary French sys- 
tern of balloting was in vogue in Belgium prior to 
1877. In that year the English system (commonly 
called in America the Australian system) was adopted, 
as a safeguard against prevalent bribery and intimi- 
dation. The English plan of ballots prepared by the 
authorities was found, of course, a great advance. 
But it did not secure absolute secrecy; for instructed 
or purchased voters were required, in many cases, 
by those who controlled them, to make the cross or 
mark in some prescribed and recognizable way, so 
that interested persons could know to a certainty 
whether pledges were fulfilled or not. All this was 
done away with by the substitution of gutta-percha 
stamps for pencils, in the alcoves of the polling places. 
The property qualification admits many illiterates to 
the ballot ; and it is found practically objectionable 
to allow the president or any other official of the day 
to accompany such voters into the alcoves to read and 
explain the ticket. Different colors are used for the 
benefit of illiterates. Thus, in the legislative elec- 
tions, the average district is entitled to choose several 

CHAP. in. 

A political 





Method of 

CHAP. HI. members. The Catholics prepare their list of candi- 
dates, and send it in to the authorities with the sig- 
natures of at least forty electors to constitute a valid 
nomination. The Liberals do likewise. The parties 
are so perfectly organized that the occasions are ex- 
tremely rare when any other than the two regular 
lists are sent in. The authorities print the two sets 
of names in parallel columns on the voting paper, 
printing the Catholic list in red and the Liberal list 
in blue. At the head of each list is printed a device 
which incloses a blank white patch. The voter places 
the inked stamp in the Catholic or in the Liberal patch 
at his option, folds the ticket, and deposits his vote. 
He may vote a mixed list, if he chooses ; in which 
case he affixes the stamp in a space left for that pur- 
pose at the end of each name. He can vote only for 
names printed on the ticket, and only for as many as 
the number of places to be filled. Sometimes it hap- 
pens that more than two tickets are nominated. In 
municipal elections at Brussels there have been four 
parties in the field, Catholic, Liberal, Radical, and 
Socialist. In such cases the additional lists are printed 
in still different colors on the same ballot paper. The 
instances are exceptional where voters do not adhere 
to the regular and complete party list. A man votes 
"red" or he votes "blue/' and stamps his ticket ac- 
cordingly. It will be observed that the requirement 
of so many as forty signatures to a nomination paper 
helps to maintain party discipline and to keep down 
random voting. In all its details the system would 
not be perfectly applicable for a country where par- 
ties are less rigid and omnipotent than in Belgium; 
but the use of the stamp is an improvement which 
might advantageously be adopted everywhere. 

The communal lines are sometimes much more re- 
stricted than the area of a large town. Thus Brussels 

Strength of 
party ties. 



as a metropolis had 500,000 people in 1895, while the 
commune of Brussels the " municipal corporation," 
as we should say had hardly 200,000. The council- 
ors in the larger communes are usually intelligent 
and active men barristers, engineers, manufacturers, 
and progressive citizens of various callings. The bur- 
gomaster, or mayor, is appointed by the king (that is, 
by the government of the day) from the members of 
the communal council, usually in concurrence with 
the known or supposed wishes of the majority, and he 
holds his place for an indefinite term. In all but the 
larger communes there are two Schevins, selected from 
the membership of the council, and having executive 
duties to perform as associates and assistants of the 
mayor. They hold for six years. In Brussels and 
Antwerp there are five echevins, and in the other 
large towns there are four. These, with the burgo- 
master to preside over them, form a standing execu- 
tive board, and supervise municipal works, have 
charge of the sanitary administration as a board of 
health, and so on. The system is simple and efficient. 
The burgomaster presides at the sessions of the coun- 
cil as well as at those of the " echevinal college," and is 
at once a servant of the commune and a representa- 
tive in the commune of the executive power of the 
state. The college of 6chevins has control of the civil 
registers of births, deaths, and marriages, and is 
charged with the duty of executing in the commune 
all the laws and mandates of the superior governments 
of the province and the realm, thus having general as 
well as merely local functions. The burgomastership 
becomes in some towns a sort of dynasty. In Ant- 
werp the burgomaster of 1850 was succeeded by his 
son, who has in turn been succeeded by his son-in- 
law, thus keeping the office in the family for three 

CHAP. in. 







CHAP. in. The Belgian echevins, obviously, correspond to the 
French adjuncts, forming with the burgomaster a 
standing executive committee of the same character 

compared as that which in the French municipalities is made up 

with French ^ . r 

system, of the mayor and his adjuncts. But whereas in 
France the executive authority is conferred upon the 
mayor alone, who in turn distributes their tasks to his 
adjuncts, in Belgium much of the authority is reposed 
in the collective group. The French mayor exercises 
the appointive power, while in Belgium the municipal 
council itself appoints the municipal employees, as in 

' P i?ower. ug England. The theory upon which the king names 
the burgomasters and Echevins has regard for the fact 
that these officials are charged with the local execu- 
tion of the general laws. Local self-government in 
Belgium does not in practice suffer any considerable 

Burgomaster limitation from the nominal selection of the burgo- 
poiice. masters by the king. The burgomaster is personally 
charged with the police authority. 

Those who regret the rapid disappearance of the 
quaint and old-fashioned in European cities must be 
shocked at the changes which a few years have made 
in the principal places of Belgium. Parts of these 

The march of * owns are now n t unlike parts of Omaha, Minneap- 

municipai olis, or Kansas City, in their freshness and newness and 
ment. in the general character of their architecture. There 
has been a great passion in Belgium for municipal 
renovation, and much has been done on lines similar 
to those by which New and Corporation streets were 
constructed in Birmingham. In about 1875, the Bel- 
gian law regarding ex-appropriation was altered to 
permit such improvements. The town of Li&ge, for 
street re- example, bought up all the houses old and poor, for 
the most part lining a narrow but central and im- 
portant street. The houses were demolished and the 
street was greatly widened. The building sites were 


then sold in toto to a company for an amount more CHAP. in. 
than sufficient to cover the cost of original purchase 
and of demolition. The company built in part and 
sold lots in part, and the result is a magnificent mod- 
ern street, now solidly built up. The beautiful broad 
boulevard, with double rows of splendid trees, that 
curves through Lifege, was once the course of the 
Meuse (or rather of one branch, the original town 
being upon an island). But the river was diverted 
into a straighter channel some seventy years ago, and 
a grand street was made of the other and longer 
channel. About 1879,/ a smaller island, then unbuilt 
upon, was acquired by the government, and sold to 
the municipality of Li&ge for 1,000,000 francs. The speculation! 
town authorities laid out fine streets and sold build- 
ing sites. Within two years the new "addition" was 
splendidly built up with showy residence rows. The 
city's speculation was a very lucrative one. 

But these things are not always carried out so 
smoothly. Visitors to Brussels must have been im- 
pressed with the broad and exceedingly handsome new Brussels and 
business thoroughfare on which the Grand Hotel boulevards." 
stands. These " inner boulevards " were made a few 
years ago, upon the plan already described. The old 
buildings were all purchased and demolished at great 
cost, and the formerly narrow street was made straight 
and broad. The reconstruction was accomplished by 
a foreign company, which could not meet its obliga- 
tions to the city, and failed. A large amount of the 
property fell into the hands of the municipal corpora- 
tion, which became a landlord on an extensive scale, 
and which, as perhaps many of the subsequent guests 
did not know, owned the Grand Hotel itself. Ant- Antwerp's 
werp has employed this same plan to rebuild and im- 
prove its central streets ; and so the old and pictur- 
esque is disappearing, and something like Parisian 




Brussels and 
its gas 

in Belgium. 

General im- 

A projected 
ship canal. 

harbor facil- 

uniformity and universality is everywhere the new 
rule in municipal architecture. 

Brussels, as a modern municipality and a growing 
commercial center, has many points of interest. It is 
developing rapidly, and its ambition and courage are 
expanding in due proportion. It is one of the few 
large towns of Belgium or France that have gone into 
the business of gas supply on municipal account. Its 
gas-works are advantageously operated, prices have 
been reduced, and the net revenues are considerable. 
The tram-lines in all the Belgian towns are operated 
by private companies under strict regulations, and 
they pay mileage rates to the municipal treasuries for 
use of the streets. They are, as a rule, admirably 
managed, with low fares, graduated according to dis- 
tance. Marked improvements are everywhere being 
made in such matters as paving, drainage, building 
regulations, and municipal amenities of various sorts ; 
but in these undertakings the Belgian towns, like the 
French, are more conservative than the German and 
the British. Brussels has taken the notable example 
of Glasgow, and the still more recent example of 
Manchester, to heart, and is seriously agitating the 
question of a ship canal. This huge undertaking 
could not fail to enhance the importance of the Bel- 
gian capital, and, as a financial project, it seems en- 
tirely feasible. Every ambitious modern city has its 
future largely in its own hands, and Brussels is intent 
upon making itself great. 

Meanwhile, immense sums have been expended at 
Antwerp for the improvement of harbor facilities, and 
few seaport municipalities in Europe have since 1880 
exhibited a more determined or intelligent energy. 
Antwerp, like Brussels, is gaining population with 
striking rapidity. It had 120,000 people in 1862, and 
more than 260,000 in 1895. Brussels in 1800 had 



66,000 people within the Walls (which are now demol- 
ished and replaced by encircling boulevards), and 
there were 10,000 more in the extra-mural precincts. 
The total population in 1893 had reached 500,000, of 
which perhaps 200,000 were within the limits of the 
ancient commune or inner city. Liege, in 1893, had 
160,000 people, as against 100,000 some thirty years 

Although these Belgian cities are growing so hand- 
some and Paris-like, one regrets to find the housing 
of the poor so inadequate. The late M. de Lavelaye, 
of Li&ge, once assured me that while, in recent years, 
much new construction had added greatly to the aver- 
ago size and comfort of the houses occupied by the 
more fortunate classes, there had been little or no new 
building for the poor, and small improvement in the 
character of their habitations. As in the British cities, 
so in the Belgian towns, thousands of families live 
each in a single room. The condition of the ouvriers 
did not seem to M. de Lavelaye to be improving fast. 
It was in this vein that the Belgian economist dis- 
coursed as we inspected the handsome new rows in 
Li&ge consisting of houses that cost about one hundred 
thousand francs to build, on lots valued at 20,000 
francs such establishments renting for about five 
thousand francs. Incidentally, it may be said that 
many well-to-do people perhaps nearly half of them 
in Belgian towns own their houses. 

But while the poor are still overcrowded, and hous- 
ing-reforms require serious attention, the general 
conditions of the Belgian cities have improved aston- 
ishingly through the successful adoption of modern 
sanitary methods. Thus the death-rate of Brussels 
in. 1876 was nearly twenty-five per 1000, from which 
there was a gradual decline until for the year 1894 the 
rate was 18.1. In the face of an exceedingly rapid 



Growth of 

Housing of 
the people. 



CHAP. in. growth, the death-rate had fallen off about thirty per 
cent. The Antwerp death-rate had formerly been a 

death-rates, high one, but in 1894 it was a little less than nine- 
teen. Such figures speak eloquently of good munici- 
pal housekeeping that is to say, of satisfactory 
water and drainage, public cleansing, food inspection, 
and vigilance against infectious diseases. 

So many things in the local administration of Bel- 
gium being like those of France, it is worth while to 
observe one great point of improvement. Belgium 
abolished the octroi taxes before 1870 with the result 
of making some of the commonest articles much 
cheaper in Belgian than in French towns. One is 
impressed, indeed, with the cheapness of all small 
articles in Belgium. In France the smallest coin in 
usual circulation is the sou piece (five centimes, 
equivalent to one American cent, or an English half- 
penny) ; but in Belgium copper coins of one and two 
C tnKwa* f cen ti mes are in ordinary use. A newspaper may be 

tares ana bought for two centimes. The tram-line fares arc 


articles, six or eight centimes per kilometer. School-children 
buy pencils and other small articles at prices which 
only the small coins make possible. The relation of 
minor coinage to customary prices is worthy of more 
study than it has received. The poor people of Bel- 
gium probably save in the total a large sum annually 
because of the fact that change can be made to the 

The substitution of other sources of local income 
for the octroi dues has been accounted an economic, 
reform of great social benefit. In so small a country, 
where population is so dense and where good roads 
Freedom of and navigable waterways invite to easy traffic, the 
cation. octroi system could but cause great friction. Bel- 
gium's comparative freedom from the strain of mili- 
tary expenditure has made it possible for the central 



A i?<> 

government so to adjust the taxation system as not CHAP. in. 
only to permit but to require the towns to abolish 
their local customs barriers. 

The educational methods of the Belgian towns are 
in inost respects like those of France. The schools, 
under the Belgian system, are directly controlled by Municipal 
the municipal council, which appoints the teachers 
and performs the functions of a school-board. The 
hospital administration, the bureaux de bienfaisance, 
and the monts-de-piet6, are also under the authority 
of the municipal council, which appoints their super- 
vising boards and manages their finances. Thus the 
municipal councils of Belgium occupy a larger sphere 
of control than those of France, or even those of 
England. For the British schools and poor-relief 
are administered by separate elective bodies, while in 
France they are in the hands of appointive boards. 
In Belgium, on the contrary, these great branches of 
local administration, like all others, find their man- 
agement vested in the one representative municipal 
council. The provincial government exercises a con- 
siderable measure of supervision over the actions of 
the municipalities and communes, not to the end of 
checking or restraining a proper municipal freedom, 
but for the sake of regularity and safety. Decentrali- 
zation has been better realized in Belgium than in 
France, although the manner in which the superior 
control over local government is exercised is similar 
in the two countries. 

The effect of modern conditions upon the growth 
and the grouping of population may be studied in Town 
Holland to great advantage. Perhaps nowhere else Holland. 
has the rapid expansion of the towns been attended 
with so few embarrassing results. The larger its 
membership becomes, the more orderly and efficient 

control ex- 

authontlcs - 




CHAP. in. seems to be the Netherlander hive, ^or some years 
past, using round figures, there have been 150,000 
births each year in Holland, and 90,000 deaths, leav- 
ing a net annual increase of 60,000. Emigration has 
averaged less than 5000 a year, and it has been coun- 
ter-balanced by some immigration. Thus for the four 
years from the end of 1889 to the beginning of 1894 
the average net gain of population was 55,374 per 
annum. In the twenty four years previous to Janu- 
ary 1, 1894, Holland's population had grown from 
3,579,529 to 4,732,911, a gain of 1,153,382, or more 
than 32 per cent. Of this remarkable increase, 602,- 
Q36 people are credited to the twenty-one largest 
towns, and 551,346 represent the gains of all the rest 
of the country. The percentage of the total popula- 
tion belonging to the large towns (those having more 
than 20,000 people each) had increased from 26.1 to 
32.5. But the urban growth in fact was greater than 
these figures indicate ; for much of the gain outside 
the large towns was aggregated in manufacturing 
suburbs, and in industrial towns having from 10,000 
to 20,000 inhabitants. The density of the provinces 
of North Holland and South Holland had increased 
to the remarkable averages of 876 and 836.5 per square 
mile ; while for all Holland the average was 374. 

With a harsh and capricious climate, and with great 
difficulties in the way of thorough drainage and a 
satisfactory supply of water, it is nothing short of a 
brilliant triumph of sanitary science and enlightened 
municipal administration that Holland is able to ac- 
commodate half a million additional inhabitants every 
decade, without further aggravating any of the evil 
consequences of overcrowding, but, on the contrary, 
with steady improvement in the average of healthful- 
ness and of social well-being. The death-rate dimin- 


and social 



ishes ; poverty and crime are well controlled; educa- CHAP. in. 
tion becomes more universal and more complete, and, 
in short, the urbanization of Holland seems not to 
have been attended with any of those phenomena of Reduction 
physical, mental, or moral decline that have been re- rate. '" 
garded in many quarters as inevitable results of the 
growth of cities. For the whole country, the average 
yearly death-rate in the decade 1860-70 was approxi- 
mately 25 per 1000. In the period from 1870 to 1880 
it declined somewhat. But from 1880 to 1890 it fell 
materially, and reached an average of about 20. In 
1893 it was only 19.1. But the great city of Amster- 
dam, with a population (December 31, 1893) of 446,657 
not including the suburbs, reported for 1893 a death- Amster- 
rate of only 18.6, which was appreciably less than the Hant record, 
rate for the whole of Holland. When a country's 
chief city has a death-rate lower than the rate for the 
nation, in the face of the old maxim that death-rates 
increase in a certain mathematical ratio as density 
increases, then, surely, modern sanitary improve- 
ments and administrative methods are vindicated be- 
yond all controversy. To show that the low Amster- 
dam rate promises permanence, it should be said that 
the report for 1894 was still more favorable, the figures 
being 18.3. At the Hague in 1893 the rate was 19.1, The Hague 

and Rotten 

exactly the same as that for the whole country ; but dam. 
in 1894 the Hague rate dropped to 16.9. The Rotter- 
dam rate was 21.9 in 1893 and 20.1 in 1894. Until a 
very recent date, mortality in these cities was at a con- 
siderably higher rate than in the nation at large. 
Birth-rates for 1894 were reported as follows: Am- 
sterdam, 31.6 ; Rotterdam, 35.3 ; the Hague, 31.4. The 
birth-rates promise soon to be double the death-rates. 
The population of the seven largest towns at the 
opening of 1894, as compared with their population 


CIIAI'. m. ten years earlier and thirty-two years earlier, is 
shown in the following table: 

Town growth 
in 32 years. 


Jan. 1, 1894. 
446,657 . 

Jan. 1, 1884. 
361,326 . 

Jan. l, 1862. 


228,597 . 

166,002 . 


The Hague 

174,790 . 

131,417 . 



. . . . 91.070 . 

74,364 . 


Gronengen . . 

. 58,554 . 

49,992 . 



. . . . 56,803 . 
. . . . 52,582 . 

43,961 . 
44,436 . 


Within one generation these Dutch towns have 
nearly or quite doubled their population. If an area 
large enough to include the contiguous suburbs were 
brought into the comparison, it would be seen that 
Doubled in the population of Amsterdam as well as that of the 
" c tfon. era other towns in the list had, within a third of a cen- 
tury, gained more than a hundred per cent. The ac- 
tivities that this rapid growth has necessitated on 
the part of the municipal governments may readily 
be inferred. But the new problems have been met 
with intelligence and success. 

The last generation of Dutch town-dwellers were 
habitually economical in the domestic use of water. 
For although canals are everywhere, and almost the 
whole country would seem in imminent danger of 
submersion through the breaking of dykes, it is need- 
less to explain that the canal water is not potable. 
oid and new In the earlier days, drainage of every character passed 
freely into the water-ways, and the series of Amster- 
dam canals, for instance, were in fact so many open 
sewers. But methods have changed. The canals 
are flushed and renewed with clean ocean water, in- 
troduced from the North Sea by an artificial channel, 
and the sediment is constantly being dredged. The 
houses are supplied with earth closets, from which 
accumulations are regularly and frequently removed 
in tight receptacles on the well-known tub or pan 



system ; and the excrementary material is converted 
into fertilizers. The Amsterdam drinking-water sup- 
ply is introduced from the famous "Dunes," near 
Haarlem, by aqueducts ; and with this improved sup- 
ply of pure domestic water collected from the sterile 
region of sand hills; with the better disposition of 
waste of all kinds ; and with the improved means for 
renewing water in the street canals which divide 
Amsterdam into nearly a hundred islands, the 
fevers and the other once prevalent diseases have be- 
come far less frequent, so that a city which seemed 
destined always to be unwholesome has now become 
a marvelously healthful place. The Rotterdam water- 
supply is pumped from the river and filtered, while 
waste materials are carried to the farms as from Am- 
sterdam. I am informed that the Amsterdam mu- 
nicipality has recently acquired control of the gas 
plant and is furnishing its citizens with their light- 
ing supplies. But if this be the case it is an excep- 
tional instance ; for the Dutch towns in general have 
been little disposed to embark in these collective 
municipal undertakings. Private capital and energy 
have always been abundant in Holland, and have 
been allowed as a rule to take the initiative in sup- 
plying such common wants as light and transit. The 
street railways are numerous in the towns, and the 
country is intersected with steam tram lines. Fares 
are exceedingly low, and the facilities for local transit 
and traffic are notably good. The Amsterdam mu- 
nicipality has achieved great things in the develop- 
ment of harbor accommodations, and the canal works, 
bridges, and municipal appointments in general, are 
undergoing constant improvement at the hands of 
skilful engineers. 

In 1795 the aggressive French republic made an 
easy conquest of Holland. As in Belgium, the 



Lighting and 

transit in 



Public woi'ks 
of Amster- 




The French 
regime in 


Dutch con- 

tive system. 

"rights of man" were proclaimed, and the new- 
French methods of administration were promptly 
acquired by the "Batavian Republic." The Napo- 
leonic modifications were in turn applied to the Neth- 
erlands, and in 1810 Napoleon went so far as to 
incorporate the country with France, its institutions 
being completely assimilated. With the battle of 
Waterloo the French domination came to an end ; but 
nearly twenty years of modern French administrative 
organization, with French civil and criminal codes, had 
left an impression not to be obliterated. When there- 
fore the kingdom of the Low Countries, uniting Holland 
and Belgium, was formed in 1815, it rested upon the 
basis of a written constitution which guaranteed the 
essential principles of the French revolution of 1789, 
and which prescribed a framework of provincial and 
municipal institutions upon the familiar French 
model. Subsequent enactments have created numer- 
ous variations of detail; but the French, Belgian, 
and Dutch systems of local administration are all 
traceable to a common origin. From 1795 to 1815 
they were practically uniform. In 1830 the Belgians 
withdrew from the Union with Holland, and adopted 
a new constitution. Their minor organization, how- 
ever, continued to be very similar to that of their 
greatly respected Dutch neighbors. The Dutch con- 
stitution was revised and somewhat liberalized in 
1848, with a new and comprehensive municipal code 
following two or three years later. Again in 1887 
the constitution was revised, the franchise broadened, 
and some changes of detail adopted in the administra- 
tive laws. 

The outline of the system of provincial and muni- 
cipal government may easily be drawn, and the reader 
of these pages will at once perceive its similarity to 
the French system, and still more to the Belgian. 


The Dutch provinces (corresponding to the French CHAP. m. 
departments and the Belgian provinces) are eleven in 
number, and the communes (in 1894) are 1123. Each 
province has its elected council, known as the " Pro- 
vincial States," corresponding precisely to the councils- 
general of the French departments and the provincial Provincial 
councils of Belgium. These bodies vary in size from 01 tfon? 1 
80 in the most populous (South Holland) to 35 in 
the least populous (Drenthe) of the provinces. They 
hold two sessions a year. They are represented for 
every-day administrative purposes by a standing 
committee of six of their members, designated by the 
body itself. This executive committee is known as 
the " Deputed States," and it holds the same place in 
provincial affairs as the deputation permanente of 
the Belgian provincial councils, which also consists 
of six members. The standing executive committee 
of the French councils-general, as created by the law 
of 1871, occupies a like position. In Holland an ap- 
pointed " Commissioner of the Sovereign" represents The Royal 
the central authority in each province, corresponding C sToner?" 
to the provincial governor in Belgium and the prefect 
in France. The commissioner presides over the 
sessions of the Provincial States, and also over those 
of the executive committee of six, i. e., the Deputed 
States, where in case of an equal division he casts the 
deciding vote. While many of his duties are identical 
with those of a French prefect, he exercises a less domi- 
nant authority. Provincial and municipal self-rule in 
the Netherlands is more complete than in France. The 
Deputed States of each province must approve the 
budget of all municipalities, and must always give I ^rotim-e f 
consent before municipal property can be alienated, to ^uty. cl 
Franchises, important contracts, and some other mu- 
nicipal matters must also be referred to the provincial 
authorities for ratification. But in most of their 


CHAP. HI. ordinary affairs the communes are left to themselves, 
their functions being regulated by the terms of the 
general law. 

The municipal councils of all cities and towns of 
considerable size are composed of thirty-nine mem- 
bers, elected for six years, thirteen retiring every two 
years. For smaller communes the number is less, and 
the smallest elect only seven councilors. The rule 
for all communes, however, is the six-year term and 
the biennial renewal of one third of the council. The 
suffrage in Holland is much restricted by tax-paying 
qualifications. Previous to 1887 the requirements 
u were so arduous that there were only three voters for 

itatfons. every hundred people. At present there is one voter 
for about fifteen people a total electorate of ap- 
proximately 300,000. Voters must be twenty- three 
years of age, and must have paid a land tax of at 
least ten guilders (about $4.00), or direct personal 
taxes of an amount varying in different towns accord- 
ing to population. 1 So exclusive an electorate might 
confidently be expected to choose substantial burghers 

Character of i -i A --L- i. 4. x 

councilors, as municipal councilors. Any citizen who is twenty- 
three years old is eligible to a seat in the council, 
whether he is entitled to vote or not. But an elec- 
toral body of tax-payers would naturally fill the 
council with men of their own class. The mayor, or 
burgomaster, as he is usually called, is appointed by 
the sovereign, for a term of six years. The appoint- 
ment is presumably made in deference to the ex- 
pressed or understood wishes of the municipal coun- 
cil. The mayor presides over the council, and he has 

l Pending propositions, advocated by the government itself iti 
the legislative chambers, will, if adopted, as seems probable, 
fix the minimum age of voters at twenty-five, and greatly reduce 
the qualifications, so that, it is estimated, there will be 700,000 
voters more than twice the present number. 



the power to suspend its ordinances and resolutions 
for a period of thirty days, in order to allow the 
deputed states of the province time to act as a court 
of appeal and settle the matter. The councils of 
large towns select from their number four wethouders, 
who constitute an executive committee with the 
mayor as their presiding officer. In the smaller 
towns only two or three such wethouders are cho- 
sen. They correspond to the echevins of the Belgian 
councils, and to the adjuncts of the French, though 
possessing higher authority than their French equi- 
valents. They are in general charge of all the depart- 
ments of municipal administration, and exercise the 
appointing and removing power over the municipal 
officials. The police, however, are under the mayor's 
personal control, by virtue of his character as an 
officer of the State. 

The Dutch burgomaster, though belonging to a 
municipal system the forms of which are so much 
more closely akin to the French than to the German, 
is in practice an official more similar in status to the 
German burgomaster than to the French mayor. 
His six-year appointment is likely to be renewed 
from time to time, and he is a high and expert pro- 
fessional civil servant, rather than a citizen magis- 
trate invested with brief authority. The Amsterdam 
burgomaster being appointed not long ago to a cabi- 
net position, the vacancy was filled by the transfer of 
the Rotterdam burgomaster to the executive chair of 
the greater city. More commonly, however, the bur- 
gomaster has local affiliations with the town where 
he holds office, and vacant burgomaster-ships are 
often filled by the promotion of a wethouder or mem- 
ber of the council's executive committee. Practically, 
a burgomastership in the Low Countries is a life 
position, and it carries with it much dignity and 


The "wet- 


Police con- 

of the 
Dutch bur- 


CHAP. in. honor, not to mention the very adequate compensa- 
tion that is allowed. Ordinary councilors, of course, 

P SSSeB. f are not paid, while wethouders are granted reasona- 
ble salaries. 
The Dutch preference for private initiative is ex- 

Reliance hibited iu the school system, and also in the methods 

iSctoi!? of charitable relief. While education is very general 
and thorough, it is not the policy of the country to 
develop a uniform, free, compulsory system of ele- 
mentary instruction. Private schools are subsidized 
by the municipalities, and public schools are not wholly 
free. The system resembles that of Great Britain in 
many respects. The report for 1892-93 showed that 
466,910 pupils were enrolled in 2993 public elementary 
schools, and 205,378 in 1331 private schools. The in- 

eduSon. y fant schools (kindergartens) are chiefly in private 
hands, the report showing 80,517 children in 2550 
private infant schools, and 23,858 in 800 public schools. 
The general government pays a portion of the expense 
of instruction, and in 1892 it appropriated nearly 
$2,500,000 on account of primary education, while 
the local authorities expended more than $3,500,000. 
There is no such thing in Holland as the levy of a poor 
rate, and the presumption is that private societies will 
relief" 1 meet the demands of charity. The communes grant 
small subsidies to the benevolent societies and estab- 
lishments, and suppress mendicancy as criminal. To 
some extent there are public work-houses, but the 
State, the provinces, and the communes merely pro- 
vide such means and establishments as are found 
necessary to supplement private charitable effort. 

Certainly it is not to Spain that the inquirer would 
be sent for practical lessons in the art of municipal 
administration. Yet Spain, with all its backwardness 
in the general adoption of modern ideas and facilities. 


should not be wholly overlooked even in a survey of CHAP. in. 
the most recent phases of progress in Continental 
cities. From the standpoint of theoretical organ- 
ization, the Spanish legislators and administrative . , 
lawyers of the Liberal party have shown an almost un- nuSS ad- 

T i -TJ. -ii i j j j.1 i ministrative 

surpassed ability and knowledge ; and they have given statutes, 
their country an administrative system at least on 
paper which is perhaps the most perfectly adjusted 
of any to be found in Europe. Moreover, at points 
where the magic of modern commercial progress has 
touched a Spanish community, notably at Barcelona. 

. f ,, , , , , * 7 * . , 7 As to practi- 

oiie perceives that the people possess capacity for mu- cai progress. 
nicipal self-government, and have begun to transform 
their public services, revise their street systems, and 
modernize their municipal establishments with as great 
an energy as can be observed anywhere else in Eu- 
rope, and with ready acceptance of the most advanced 

Spain's relations with the first French Republic 
which resembled vassalage rather than a free and 
equal alliance did not much affect the domestic 
regime of political and ecclesiastical absolutism and 
the medieval methods of administration. But Napo- 
leon, in 1808, assumed the sovereign authority, made Na oleoa 
his brother Joseph the nominal king, and promulgated in Spain. 
a constitution of the clear-cut, regular sort which was 
operative in France. Uniformity of system was in- 
troduced, with complete centralization. The Spaniards 
were rebellious, however, and in 1813 they expelled 
the French. The revolutionary leaders had, mean- 
while, in 1812, framed a liberal constitution at Cadiz, ^ ^ A . 

i -t -n i i /. .r/x - Constitution 

based upon the French principles of 1789, and pro- of 1812. 
viding for individual freedom and a large measure of 
local autonomy. The advanced and enlightened mi- 
nority of the Spanish people were ready for the mod- 
ern order of things. But the ignorant masses had not 



CHAP. in. been permeated by the new influences ; and with the 
return of a Bourbon monarch the constitution of 1812 
was set aside, and the ancien regime was restored, 
with its hideous accompaniments of inquisitorial per- 
secution. Nevertheless, the constitution of Cadiz 
held its place as an ideal in the minds of liberal and 
educated men j and in 1836 it was restored for a little 
while by virtue of a successful revolution. In 1837 
the Cortes framed an excellent constitution which was 
of 1837. similar in most respects to the Belgian constitution of 
1831, and which also bore a resemblance to the French 
constitution of 1830 under which Louis Philippe was 
called to reign. The system of provinces and com- 
munes, with prefects and mayors for executive pur- 
poses, and with provincial and municipal councils for 
deliberation, with a hierarchy of control, and with a 
careful assignment of local jurisdiction, was now 
firmly established in Spain. But a reactionary move- 
ment in 1845 diminished the extent of local freedom, 
while also maintaining heavy restrictions upon the 
elective franchise. 

The revolution of 1868 again restored the progres- 
sives to power, and it was followed by sweeping legis- 
lative reforms. The constitution of 1869 was framed 
onstitution ^ ^ national legislature after the most protracted 
of 1869. and careful deliberation, involving a comparative 
study of all the constitutional projects and experi- 
ments of the century, whether European or American. 
The Spanish documents of 1812 and 1836 naturally 
formed the basis for the new organic law. Individual 
liberties were guaranteed, the suffrage was extended to 
every male citizen who had attained the age of twenty- 
five, and self-government for provinces and for mu- 
i triumph nicipalities took the place of centralization. It was 
"view the most advanced of all the European constitutions 
then in operation. The contrast was the more em- 



phatic because the highly centralized system of the 
Second Empire was still the law of France. To this free 
constitution the Italian Prince Amadeus, called by 
Spanish liberals from the fresh atmosphere of reform 
and progress in Italy, took the oath of allegiance 
when he ascended the throne of Spain in 1870. Three 
years later he abdicated, and the republic was pro- 
claimed, with institutions much more completely di- 
vested of monarchical traditions than those which the 
new French republic had ordained. But within a 
year a scion of the Bourbons was reigning, and after 
the suppression of the Carlists, and the necessity of 
a return from the military to the civil order of gov- 
ernment, a new constitution, that of 1876, was drawn 
up by the ministers themselves and submitted for 
ratification to an elected national assembly. It has 
remained the organic law of Spain since its proclama- 
tion on June 30, 1876. It was a less advanced instru- 
ment in many respects than the famous one of 1869 ; 
but, nevertheless, it was doubtless better adapted to 
the actual conditions prevailing in the Spanish nation. 
It restricted the suffrage, whether for local or for na- 
tional elections, to citizens above the age of twenty-five 
who had paid a land tax, or an industrial tax, amounting 
to about five dollars per annum ; although the priests 
and members of learned professions, and various 
classes of public servants and others presumably in- 
structed and intelligent, were entitled to be registered 
without regard to the payment of taxes. Under these 
qualifications the registered voters were about three 
in number for every fifty persons. It must be re- 
membered that the universal suffrage of 1869, as of 
the transient liberal constitutions of earlier periods, 
had not been demanded or appreciated by the masses. . 
In June, 1890, however, the tax-paying restrictions 
were abolished, and the voting lists now contain the 



Present or- 
ganic law. 

The elective 

of 1800. 


CHAP. in. names of all male citizens above the age of twenty- 
five who have been identified with a particular com- 
mune for two years. 

The constitution of 1876 did not materially affect 
the admirable system of municipal and provincial 
organization which had been devised as one of the 
chief reforms resulting from the revolution of 1868. 
There are in Spain about 9400 municipal districts or 
communes, and 49 provinces. The marked character- 
istic of the Spanish system is the unreserved and 
emphatic manner in which it proclaims and guards 

Local self- ^ . r s . 

government, the sovereignty of the communes and provinces 
within the spheres of action that are ascribed to them. 
The general lines of the whole administrative organi- 
zation are the familiar French lines; but a much 
firmer stress is laid upon local autonomy. Here 
again, however, it is well to remember the difference 
between institutions that have taken deep root and 
those that exist on paper. In Barcelona municipal 
autonomy is a realized fact j but in many Spanish 
communes it is far less operative as a working sys- 
tem than in the French communes, where the average 
intelligence and political experience of the people are 
so much more highly developed. 

The Spanish province is precisely analogous to the 
French department. Its affairs are managed by a 
representative body consisting of 25 deputies for 

The Spanish . , . , ., - -t\ r^f\/\ i ji 

provinces, provinces having less than 150,000 people, the num- 
ber increasing according to a graduated scale up to 
40 for those of 300,000, and to 48 for those of 500,000, 
with one additional deputy for every 50,000 persons 
in excess of half a million. The largest provinces 
actually have about 52 members in their legislative 
assemblies. As in France, Belgium, and Holland, this 
provincial congress appoints a standing executive 
committee from its membership, which exercises con- 



stant administrative authority over provincial affairs. 
These affairs consist of all public matters distinctively 
affecting the province, and include particularly such in- 
terests as roads and water-ways, penal and charitable 
institutions, and education. The national authority 
is represented in each province by a " civil governor " 
a functionary identical with the French prefect 
whose duty it is to see that the national laws are en- 
forced, and that the provinces and municipalities con- 
fine themselves strictly within the limits of their 
own jurisdiction. The governor presides over the 
annual sessions of the diputation provincial (the provin- 
cial assembly) and also over the comission provincial 
(the standing executive committee). He may suspend 
a decision either of the assembly or of the committee, 
in order to refer it to the central Council of State. 
This reference is merely to determine whether or not 
the provincial authorities have ventured beyond their 
lawful power. The governor has also to represent 
the State as a supervisor within the province of such 
national matters as posts, telegraphs, and other in- 
dustrial and economic concerns relating to the public 
revenues and to the political and social order. 

Each commune, by the suffrage of the registered 
male citizens above the age of 25 who have been 
domiciled in the place for two years, elects a munici- 
pal council (ayuntamientoj for four years, one half 
of which retires every two years. Election is by 
general ticket, and the number of councilors (called 
regidores or concejales) varies from five in the small 
country communes to thirty-nine in the largest towns. 
The entire municipal authority is vested in this coun- 
cil. It proceeds to designate one of its own members 
as alcalde (a term equivalent to mayor), who presides 
over the body and is the chief executive officer of the 
commune. In the larger towns the alcade is assisted 



The "civil 

Election of 

The alcalde 
and his ex- 
ecutive as- 


CHAP. in. by several tenientes alcaldes, who form an administra- 
tive corps altogether analogous to the mayor's ad- 
juncts in a French municipal government. The pro- 
vincial authorities do not hold the municipalities 
in tutelage, but they exercise an oversight aimed to 
keep the communes from exceeding their powers or 
committing irregularities. Thus the system as a 
whole is a finely balanced one, and is very creditable 
to the scientific attainments of the Spanish publicists 
and law-makers. 
The municipal councils exercise a very complete 

ness of mn- range of local authority. The minor courts of justice 

nicipalau- s . . * J . . 

thority. are municipal tribunals, and came under the juris- 
diction of the councils. The municipal justices of the 
peace have charge for the State of the registers of 
births and deaths, and perform the civil ceremony of 
marriage. They also act as courts of conciliation 
in disputes of all kinds. Private, ecclesiastical, and 
endowed charity in Spain occupies a more important 
place than public charitable administration. But the 
municipal councils are in full control of a large 
amount of charitable work, and supervise the accounts 
of private hospitals and institutions. General super- 
vision is also exercised by the national and provincial 
authorities, the secular system gradually superseding 
the traditional religious establishments. Primary 
instruction is one of the chief concerns of the muni- 
cipal councils, the general law requiring the universal 

system, maintenance of schools, and making it obligatory 
upon every alcalde to see that all children in the 
commune are enjoying either public or private in- 
struction. But while the school system has been 
greatly improved in recent years, the compulsory 
universal education, on a uniform plan, as ordained 
by law in 1857, has never been well enforced. Soon 
after the enactment of that law, only twenty per cent. 



of the population could read and write. This pro- 
portion has increased to perhaps thirty per cent. 
Efficient self-government must await a higher average 
degree of intelligence. 

The present sanitary state of Spanish towns helps us 
to understand the conditions that prevailed elsewhere 
in Europe half a century ago. Reforms, it is true, 
have been instituted in some of the more progressive 
cities, but the high death rates and the prevalence of 
preventable diseases point unerringly to the general 
neglect of scientific means for the protection of the 
public health. The average death rate for all Spain 
has for several decades been approximately 30 per 1000, 
while the rate for the large towns has been consider- 
ably higher. In Barcelona, however, the rate for 1894 
did not exceed twenty-nine; and the Madrid rate, 
which in the seventies was wont to approach forty, 
has of late been nearer thirty. This means, in the 
case of both towns, that water-supply, drainage, pub- 
lic cleansing, and kindred agencies affecting health, 
have been made somewhat more satisfactory, and that 
the measures used for controlling epidemic maladies 
are greatly improved. In Portugal, which has made 
still less progress than Spain in modern methods, the 
mortality rates are higher, at Lisbon, for example, 
the 1894 rate being 36, while at Oporto the rate 
was 45.5. 

The population of Spanish towns as a rule has not 
grown very rapidly of late, although the two largest 
ones, Madrid and Barcelona, are exceptions. The 
census of 1877 reported 397,690 as the population of 
Madrid, while that of 1887 enumerated 470,283, and 
the number for 1894 was estimated at 510,000. Bar- 
celona is very conspicuous among the examples of 
recent European municipal expansion. In 1877 it 
had 249,106 people, and the number was 272,481 in 



High death- 

with Por- 

Growth of 


CHAP. in. 1887, while in 1894 the estimate was 430,000. It is 
expected that the twenty years from 1877 to 1897 will 
show a doubling of Barcelona's population. This 
rapid growth, moreover, has been attended by ambi- 
tious projects for the aggrandizement of the town. 


mentofBar- , . i. T_ i 

ceiona. and no city anywhere has a more uncompromisingly 
modern aspect in its new quarters. The harbor of 
Barcelona is wholly artificial, and its creation and 
improvement form a signal instance of municipal 
energy. The water-supply is of excellent character 
and has recently been introduced from neighboring 

supplies, mountain sources. Madrid, which is also showing 
activity in the creation of modern suburbs, derives 
water from the Lozoya, by an aqueduct thirty-two 
miles long. Other Spanish towns, Valencia, Malaga, 
and even Seville, in some regards show signs of 

Other Span- . 7 ~ , & 

ish towns, awakening and progress under the common impetus 
of the age ; but for our purposes they are instructive 
chiefly for the contrasts they supply when brought 
into comparison with the most advanced communities 
of other countries. 


T3 EGARDED as modern municipalities the Italian 
JLV cities had not until a very recent date enjoyed a 
good reputation. Some of them, at least, had been 
notorious for the overcrowding, in garrets and in Modem as. 
reeking sub-ground residences, of their shoals of ill- P ian 8 cities. 
conditioned, unemployed plebeians; for the frequency 
of epidemics and the lack of efficient sanitary ad- 
ministration ; for their foul and narrow passages and 
the bad odors that indicated the lack of systematic 
scavenging, and in short for an almost complete 
dearth of enterprise in the direction of modern muni- 
cipal arrangements and undertakings. To what ex- 
tent this reputation was deserved we need not inquire 
very carefully. Perhaps the almost crushing splen- 
dors of Roman and Italian history, and the imposing Aneffectof 
character of much that remains to us of the old art contrast. 
and architecture, have by contrast deepened the un- 
favorable impression that contemporary conditions 
of life in Italian cities have evidently made upon the 
minds of visitors in general. If the simple facts were 
to be compared impartially, it would certainly appear 
that in the large English and Scotch towns previous to 
1870 the squalor, overcrowding, bad sanitation, and compared 
general inadequacy of municipal appointments were al- towns. 
most as prevalent as in those of Italy. And the Italian 
cities, moreover, might well have urged, in extenua- 



CHAP. iv. tion of their plight, the facts of decline in relative 
wealth and importance, of commercial and industrial 
stagnation, and of protracted political adversities; 
while the British towns were growing in wealth and 
numbers, and might with wisdom and forethought 
have made their public arrangements keep pace with 
the advance of commercial prosperity. But whatever 
the extenuating circumstances, the fact remained that 
the Italian cities were in a condition which the sani- 
Tardiness in tary scientists and the municipal reformers could but 
form. deplore. The British and German as well as the 
French cities had at length undertaken notable re- 
forms in their physical appearances and conditions 
widening streets, demolishing unwholesome buildings, 
constructing improved drainage systems, and provid- 
ing in various new ways for the social well-being ; and 
when the visitor who had observed these matters at- 
tentively went to Italy, it was true that he found 
reform more tardy, or at least more superficial. 

I am aware that to some people it seems a sacrilege 
to discourse of the common-school system, the new 
building regulations, the drainage and the ward poli- 
tics of immortal Rome. I remember the rude shock 
that I once gave to the sensibilities of some very in- 
telligent travelers at the dinner-table of a Roman 
pension by the innocent remark that I had spent the 
day not in the galleries or churches but in watching 
the repaving of a street and the construction of the 
main sewer tunnel of a rapidly-building new residence 
neighborhood, and in admiring the splendid new re- 
claims of the taining walls and bridges of the Tiber. But certainly 
the people now living are entitled to some considera- 
tion ; and the nearly half a million residents of Rome 
cannot be expected to live wholly upon their pleasure 
in medieval art, or their pride in archeological re- 
mains. It is inevitable that they should think it 


their right and duty to make Borne as modern a city CHAP. iv. 
as possible, so far as its health, comfort, and advan- 
tages for residence and business are concerned. 

Fortunately, the more recent European improve- 
ments have nowhere been made in the spirit of van- 
dalism. It has been alleged that the Coliseum was 
plundered and ruined to build St. Peter's and the AS to 
Vatican ; and the churches and palaces of papal v^mlliTsm. 
Rome were in very large part built with materials 
torn from the noble temples and stately monuments 
of Roman Rome. But it belongs to the new spirit 
of improvement to preserve and properly guard every- 
thing of real archeological value; so that the mod- 
ernization of Rome, by men who believe that their 
city has a living future as well as an historic past, 
strives to obliterate no worthy monument of anti- 
quity, but on the contrary has not spared pains or Preservation 

A a- i i i. A- J ofantiqui- 

cost to discover, preserve, and render instructive and ties. 
intelligible all that has escaped the vandalism of the 
intervening centuries. And so I must plead guilty 
to sympathy with much that is proposed for freshen- 
ing and renovating this ancient capital of the world, 
and for making it a fit place for its people to live in. 
The Capitoline Hill has its much-frequented museum 
of antiquities, and its thrilling memories of a glorious 
past; but it is also the seat of a modern municipal 
government that is making bold endeavors for the 
present and large plans for the future of the city. Municipal 

rrr, . . , . A . A . , . , , , offices on the 

The bureau of municipal statistics ought not to be capitoiine. 
deemed the least interesting thing on this historic 
hill; for its weekly bulletins demogrqfico-meteorico, 
recording births, marriages, deaths, and the meteoro- 
logical phenomena of the week, all according to the 
most approved comparative methods, are reminders 
that Rome still lives. As for the visitors who have 
been wont to find "picturesqueness" at Naples in 



at Naples. 

CHAP. iv. those conditions that are so frightfully destructive of 
life and so preventive of the real advance of the city, 
qnd who deprecate the sweeping changes in progress 
there, let us believe that they are ignorant and 
thoughtless, rather than deliberately inhuman. The 
material circumstances which have enveloped the 
lives of at least two hundred thousand of the five 
hundred thousand people in Naples are appalling. 
Family life in one room as we see it in thousands of 
instances in all large cities is deplorable beyond ex- 
pression. But what then can be said of the life of 
two or three families in a single room, instances of 
which are not uncommon in Naples, and in rooms, 
moreover, that are often too damp and foul for any 
animal life of a higher order than reptiles ? There is 
no other remedy for these conditions and their terri- 
ble consequences, except wide-spread demolition and 
reconstruction under public auspices. But to employ 
such a remedy may well mean an awakening and a 
new energy that have in themselves the promise of 
great progress along every line. What Naples is do- 
ing and proposing to do, I shall indicate in subsequent 

It may be well, however, first to give a summary 
of the system of municipal government now ex- 
isting in Italy. Such a statement will be the more 
acceptable in view of the fact that the whole mecha- 
nism of local and provincial administration has been 
revised and reenacted in a codified form by legislation 
approved in a royal decree of February 10, 1889. 
This important law is an excellent example of the 
clear and scientific legislation which is so creditable 
to the new Italian kingdom, and which is doing so 
much to complete the work of actual unification of 
the provinces. The general scheme of provincial and 
municipal government in Italy is similar to that in 

Italy's new 




France and Belgium, and its genesis may be readily CHAP. iv. 
traced to French connections with the northern prov- 

TA TH -i i A -I i-^-i General 

inces. It differs, however, m many details : and with scheme of 

., , ,.rt ,. ./ , ., , 7 , municipal 

its recent modifications it may be said to show more organization. 
respect than the present French system for the princi- 
ple of local self-government. Like France and Bel- 
gium, Italy is divided into provinces which are sub- 
divided into communes. Each commune, whether a 
rural neighborhood or a great city, has the same 
framework of government, that is to say, each has 
its elective council (consiglio), its standing executive 
committee, known as the junta (giunta), and its mayor 
or syndic (sindaco). There are no special charters, 
each municipality coming under the terms of the 
general law. 

The communes of more than 250,000 inhabitants 
have each a council of eighty members; and this 
number is graded down through five classes to fifteen of councils 
for communes having less than 3,000 people. The 
giunta, or standing executive committee, is elected 
by the council from its own members, and is com- 
posed of ten, eight, six, four, or two members, accor- 
ding to the size of the commune. The sindaco, or 
mayor, is also elected by the council itself from its sindacos. 
own number, in communes that have a population of 
at least ten thousand, or that are the chief towns of 
provinces or departments. In the smaller communes 
the sindaco is designated from the membership of the 
council by the king nominally, being actually selected, 
of course, through the prefects and subprefects of the 
departments, who are supposed to nominate in def- 
erence to the opinions of the commune. 

The communal franchise differs in Italy from the Votin ual . 
general or parliamentary franchise. By the law of "cations. 
1882 the parliamentary electoral lists include persons 
who, after meeting the indispensable preliminary 


CHAP. iv. conditions of being male citizens fully twenty-one 
years old who can read and write, are either tax- 
payers to the amount of about four dollars a year, or 
else are inscribed by virtue of two years' army service, 
or of holding certain positions official, educational, 
or professional specified in the law. The general lists 
thus made up include one person in eleven or twelve 
of the population. For the communal franchise the 
general electoral lists hold good, but they are ex- 
tended to include smaller tax-payers, and also to in- 
clude occupiers of premises having a rental value that 
is graduated according to the population of the com- 
mune. Thus, in communes having 150,000 people, 
the limit of rental value is fixed at forty dollars a 
year, and it is diminished to one tenth of that amount 
illiteracy an in communes which have less than 1000 people. The 

absolute dis- ._ ... -,. ./ , .1 , n ",<,.. 

qualification, really effective disqualification is that of illiteracy. 
No amount of tax-paying can procure the franchise 
for the man who is unable to read and write. On 
the other hand, there are few literate citizens who 
cannot be enrolled by virtue of tax-payments, of 
house occupancy, 1 or of two years' army service. Fully 
sixty per cent, of the adult population of Italy is 
illiterate ; and of male citizens of voting age at least 
fifty per cent, belong to that category. The other 
requirements can therefore have had comparatively 
other re- little effect in restricting a franchise which admits 
important. to the electoral rolls the names of more than one 
twelfth of the total population. This absolute educa- 
tional restriction has existed hitherto in no other Eu- 
ropean country ; but its reasonableness is hardly to be 
disputed. If it had been adopted in France by the 
founders of the present republic the advantage would 
have become evident. It is enough here, however, to 
say that the electoral bodies in the Italian communes 
include practically all the men who can read and write. 



An illiterate father has the right to delegate to his liter- 
ate son his tax-paying qualification, and in this and 
several other ways family representation is often se- 
cured at the polls through the delegation of the prop- 
erty rights of wives or parents. 

Municipal councilors are chosen for five years, and 
one fifth of the body is renewed annually, the vacan- 
cies being filled upon general ticket (scrutin de liste) 
by all the voters. In communes of more than ten 
thousand inhabitants the law provides that the elector 
shall vote for only four fifths as many names as there 
are councilors to be elected. Fractions are counted 
as integers, and thus, for example, in a city having a 
council of sixty members and filling twelve places 
annually, the individual elector would be entitled to 
vote for a list of ten. This device for the benefit of 
minorities is not without merit. It should be added, 
however, that in the case of the large communes the 
law permits division into frazione, or wards, with ap- 
portionment of representation in the council. 

The full council is a deliberative rather than an 
administrative body, and it has only two " ordinary 
sessions in the year, one in the spring and the other 
in the autumn, these sittings extending through a 
number of days. " Extraordinary " sessions can be 
called at any time by the sindaco, by the giunta, or 
by one third of the members of the council. In prac- 
tice the councils of the large cities meet with consid- 
erable frequency and regularity. 

The ordinary government of the commune is in the 
hands of the giunta, or standing executive committee 
of the council. The members of this committee are 
chosen for two years, one half of them being appointed 
annually. The sindaco presides over their meetings 
as he does over those of the full council. This select 
body has also the appointing power, and is regarded 



of property 


The general 
ticket plan. 

A device for 


The giunta 
and its 




The mayor. 

functions of 
the com- 


The octroi 

and other 



as " the government " of the commune. In the largest 
cities, Naples, Rome, Milan, the giunta consists of 
ten members and four substitutes. In cities of the 
next grade there are eight members, and the number 
decreases to two for the communes having less than 
three thousand people. The giunta is accountable to 
the full council, and all its doings are carefully re- 
ported and reviewed. The council elects from its 
own numbers the sindaco, or mayor, for a term of 
three years. He is at once an official representing 
the general government and the chief executive of 
the commune, his double character thus being the 
same as that of the French mayors or the Belgian 

The law makes it obligatory upon the authorities of 
every commune to provide each year for the cost of 
maintaining the administration; for keeping the regis- 
ters of the State, showing births, deaths, marriages, 
electoral lists, army-service rolls, etc. ; for the main- 
tenance of elementary schools ; for the ordinary pub- 
lic works, such as streets, edifices, and aqueducts; 
for cemeteries ; for illumination ; for a certain amount 
of medical and sanitary service ; for the maintenance 
of the local police ; for jails and police courts, and for 
other ordinary and suitable objects ; while it is left op- 
tional with the communes to enter upon various addi- 
tional undertakings, the approval of the provincial 
authorities being requisite, as a rule, for new or ex- 
traordinary projects. 

As in France, the largest independent source of 
revenue accorded to the municipalities is the octroi 
taxes levied at the gates upon wines, building mate- 
rials and various articles of ordinary consumption 
as they enter from without. The source next in im- 
portance is the taxes upon houses and land added 
for communal purposes to the government's levies. 


These imposts are extremely heavy, often amounting CHAP. iv. 
to more than half the gross rental value. I am told 
in Borne that the house taxes are there equal to about 
65 per cent, of the rents. A variety of minor taxes 
and sources of income complete the amount of rev- 
enue necessary to meet the expanding outlays. 

I have indicated as succinctly as possible the main 
features of a municipal system that is elaborated with 
great distinctness and detail in the important new 
piece of legislation to which I have referred. Suffice 
it then to add that this uniform and modernized 
framework of administration seems adequate to sup- 
port the rapidly increasing magnitude and variety of 
the functions laid upon the government of the Italian 
communities. For example, Italy had long needed a 
complete and efficient system of sanitary administra- 
tion. Obviously this desideratum could not be ef- 
fected to the best advantage without the aid of a good 
system of local administration in general. For sev- 
eral years the sanitary specialists and the publicists 
of Italy were studying and comparing the health reg- 
ulations of England, Germany, America, and other 
countries, with a view to the entire revision and 
consolidation of the Italian laws pertaining to the 
preservation of the public health. These studies 
were embodied in various legislative projects, and at 
length took form in a bill introduced by the minister 
of the interior, Signor Crispi, toward the close of 
1887. Besides providing for central and provincial 
sanitary authorities, the measure, which was duly 
enacted, made large use of the sindaco and the 
ordinary government of the commune for the regu- 
lation of all matters relating to the local health. 
Th^ result now promises to be that within a few years 
Italy may be able to teach other nations useful lessons 
in the art of sanitary administration. 




CHAP. iv. 


Street im- 

Central fa- 

Whatever may be said in criticism of ruthless 
changes wrought by the, ambitious municipal author- 
ities of other Italian cities, there can be little com- 
plaint brought against Milan for the manner in which 
it has adopted the modern regime. It has won the 
right to be enrolled with the well-administered cities 
of the world. As the capital of the prosperous and en- 
ergetic Lombards, its affairs have fortunately been in 
the hands of its most enlightened citizens since 1860, 
when Lombardy, with the other north Italian prov- 
inces, was released from a foreign yoke and became 
a part of united Italy, under the constitutional rule of 
Victor Emmanuel and under an administrative sys- 
tem which had been framed in the liberal mood of 
1848 for the kingdom of Sardinia. It is true that Milan 
also was rich in medieval memories and survivals; 
but comparatively it wa , not so interesting from the 
standpoint of the old ^conditions ifc many another 
Italian town. Its ambition to become a conveniently 
appointed, a clean and wholesome, and, in short, a dis- 
tinctively modern center of nineteenth-century Europe- 
an activities has seemed to most men to be altogether 
reasonable. Accordingly, vast changes have been 
wrought, with general commendation. In the period 
from 1860 to 1880 these took the form chiefly of street 
improvements, similar to those that were contempora- 
neously transforming the French towns. The changes 
at Milan extended from the core to the circumference. 
The Piazza del Duomo in front of the cathedral was 
greatly enlarged, and a series of widened and straight- 
ened main thoroughfares was made to radiate from this 
center to all the outer portions of the town, which is 
a fairly symmetrical polygon in shape. Street-rail- 
way and omnibus lines were brought to a focus at the 
Piazza del Duomo, which was also joined with the 
neighboring Piazza della Scala on the north by the most 


magnificent arcades in the world, and with the ancient CHAP. iv. 
Piazza de' Mercanti (almost adjacent on the west) by 
broad streets. Thus through brave demolitions and 
wise rearrangements Milan has created what so few 
cities possess an adequate arterial center. The 
city is growing rapidly in its outer zone, and every 
year demonstrates more completely the advantages 
of a central receiving and distributing reservoir for 
the daily flux of population, such as the broad Piazza 
del Duomo furnishes, with its dozen or more radi- 
ating thoroughfares and its eight or ten converging 
street-railway lines. In the Piazza della Scala, entered 
from the Piazza del Duomo by the vast and stately 
arcade known as the Galleria Vittorio Bmanuele, is 
the medieval Palace Marino, which was adapted in 
1861 to the uses of the municipality as a town-hall, 
and has continued to be occupied as the home of the 
" municipio." Here also is the great opera house of 
Milan, the Scala. 

The partial rectification of the inner city's thorough- 
fares was accompanied by sweeping achievements in 

ji n 7i A 11 Suburban 

the outer zone, and in the further zone of suburbs changes. 
lying beyond the walls. The communal limits are 
marked by bastioned fortifications, which are pierced 
by twelve or more gateways. Just outside the walls 
is an encircling boulevard handsomely laid out, with 
a belt street-railway line which connects at the several 
gates with radial lines. Most of those radial lines 
are extended for some distance to serve the outer 
suburbs, and the administrative municipality has 
acquired control of the external belt. The circum- 
ference of the engirdling walls is seven or eight miles* 
The ancient, innermost Milan is surrounded by canals, itSE e 
which identify the course of the old-time moat ; and 
along the canal line is an inner circuit of modernized 
streets, upon which it is now proposed to operate an 



The Via 

CHAP. iv. interior belt-line tramway, crossing the radial avenues 
at points about midway between the Piazza del Duomo 
and the city walls. Eventually the external suburbs, 
which already contain a considerable population* 
and which are all massed along the encircling boule- 
vard with their chief agglomerations at the points 
where the radials emerge from the city gates, will 
have become so important as to require an unob- 
structed connection with the citv ; and the useless 
walls will be doomed. 

Meanwhile, the street reforms and the visible im- 
provements in the ground-plan of the city are pro- 
gressing steadily. As an instance of the new improve- 
ment work there should be mentioned the Via Dante, 
a magnificent radial very recently constructed, which 
leads to the beautiful new park iii the northwestern 
part of the city. There had long b^en retained within 
the town, at the rear of the old "Castello," a vast 
military drill-ground, extending from the inner to the 
outer lines of circuit. By consent of the national gov- 
ernment, the city authorities have recently laid out a 

A new park, large part of this space as the chief park of Milan, and 
an area of perhaps equal extent has been arranged with 
handsome streets, and sold for private residence sites. 
This extremely valuable land has brought into the 

An improve- municipal treasury a large fund of money, with which 

mentfund. . * ,, ,,: . , ,"" *, 

a variety of public improvements has been initiated 
or authorized. The Via Dante was constructed as the 
direct approach from the heart of the city to the curved 
front of the symmetrical new park. It is paved with 
wooden blocks on a concrete foundation, is lighted 
with electricity, and is traversed by an electric street- 
railway. But it is more notable for its underground 
construction than for its beautifully executed surface ; 
for, apart from the main sewers, there are subways on 
either side of the street, six feet high by four or five 



feet wide. These subways adjoin the front founda- 
tion wall of the houses, and make it easy to inspect 
and repair the drain-pipes that connect the houses 
with the sewers. Within the subways are placed the 
water-pipes, gas-pipes, electric wires, etc 5 and pas- 
sages extend from them to the main sewers. It is 
considered in Milan that no street elsewhere in Eu- 
rope so completely embodies the best principles of 
construction below the surface if not above as the 
new Via Dante. 

When the more recent plans for municipal improve- 
ment were adopted, the city government, with com- 
mendable forethought, secured the annexation of a 
zone of suburban territory outside the wall of circum- 
vallation to the average width of perhaps one mile. 
The so-called piano regolatore that is to say, the plan 
for regulating and rearranging the thoroughfare-sys- 
tem, was thus made to embrace an area very much 
larger than that of the city proper as bounded by the 
bastions. Broad and generous ideas have governed 
these newest projects for the expansion of Milan, and 
the suburbs will be well supplied with small parks, 
tree-lined avenues, and modern facilities in general. 
The sewer-system of the city is now in course of re- 
construction, a considerable mileage of modern con- 
duits having been added every year since the new 
system was agreed upon in 1888. The fund accruing 
from the sale of the army drill-ground, already men- 
tioned, gave the impetus to the new sewer-system as 
well as to other material reforms, and the work is be- 
ing achieved in the most satisfactory manner. At an 
earlier period, a swift stream, the Seveso, had been 
walled in and covered over, and had been made to 
perform the functions of a collecteur or principal 
drainage tunnel. It remains the central trunk sewer, 
and carries the drainage of Milan to the Po, and 




Timely an- 

The new- 
sewer sys- 


CHAP. iv. thence to the Adriatic. It passes under the Cathe- 
dral Piazza at the heart of the city. The new streets 
are built with proper sewers, and the older ones are 
being gradually supplied. Improved pavements and 
sidewalks form a part of the scheme of renovation, 
and the street-cleaning system of Milan has been de- 
veloped to a point of very high efficiency. 

The street-railways have heretofore been under the 
control of a single company whose charters expire in 
1896. It has been one of the most efficient systems 
in Europe, and has resembled in its equipment and 
methods the best of the American horse-railway sys- 
tems. The fare in Milan, for an ordinary ride (dis- 
tances being short as compared with those on Ameri- 
can lines), is ten centimes (equivalent to an English 
penny or two American cents). The company had 
long been prosperous, and the terms of its charter re- 
payments to quired the payment to the city of about ten per cent. 

^sur^T" of its gross receipts, the yearly sum thus paid to the mu- 
nicipal treasury having amounted for some years past 
to nearly three hundred thousand francs. When ne- 
gotiations were recently entered upon for the renewal 
of the company's charter for another term beginning in 
1896, it was made a condition by the city authorities 
that various new lines and prolongations of old ones 

questions, should be built at once, and that the city's proportion 
of the gross receipts should be increased considerably. 
The company demurred on account of the expense of 
the new lines ; whereupon the Edison Electric Light- 
ing Company, which was then furnishing illumination 
for some of the public streets, made an application for 
the entire transit concession, proposing to substitute 
the electric trolley for horses, to build as many new 
lines as the municipal government required, and to 
pay the city fifteen per cent, of the gross receipts after 
the opening years, the payments for a short time 




being at the rate of ten or twelve per cent. The mu- CHAP. iv. 
nicipality was favorably disposed toward this propo- Electric 
sition, but first desired an experimental test ; and 
accordingly the electric line was laid upon the new Via 
Dante. It now appears probable that horses will be 
superseded by electricity for the entire Milan system. 
The plan seems to be to suspend the trolley wire from 
cross-wires attached to ornamental brackets project- 
ing from the houses. The overhead wires are not 
condemned on the score of their interference with the 
extinguishment of fires, for the excellent reason that 
disastrous fires are practically unknown. The under- 
ground trolley would not be feasible in Milan until 
the new sewer-system was finished. 

The gas-supply of Milan is provided by an Anglo- 
French company which had a charter extending to the 
year 1910. That charter has recently been extended 
to the year 1925 in consideration of a great reduction 
in the price of gas. The municipal government stip- 
ulated that the company should make an immediate 
reduction to private consumers from the existing 
price of forty centimes per cubic meter to twenty-five 
centimes, with a provision for further gradual reduc- 
tion to nineteen or twenty centimes. Still better 
terms were secured for the city itself as a public con- 
sumer. Milan has also recently granted a mutually 
advantageous franchise to the Edison Electric Com- 
pany, which has a contract for lighting certain streets 
and squares for a period of years. 

The question of a suitable supply of drinking wa- 
ter has been a serious one in Milan for many years, Thequestion 
and it has been investigated with a rare patience and 
intelligence by the municipal authorities. Plans for 
bringing the supply from the region of lakes and 
pure mountain streams, at Como or Bergamo, were 
frustrated by the water rights of industrial and irri- 



CHAP. iv. gatiou companies along the proposed routes. Foreign 
engineers from a number of countries joined in sub- 
mitting competitive plans a few years ago, and a 
dozen interesting schemes were drawn up. But most 
of these were too expensive for practical considera- 
tion. Two of the schemes, however, proposed driven 
wells, in view of highly favorable geological condi- 
tions. The department of public works sank a few 
" American tubes" as an experiment, with results that 
were unexpectedly satisfactory. Accordingly, in 
1890-91 some large artesian wells were driven at " the 
Arena/ 7 adjoining the new park, and distribution was 
begun upon a small scale. The analyses of the water 

Artesian thus obtained have justified the adoption of the driven- 

ad^pted. well system for the entire supply of potable water j 
and since the quantity that may readily be obtained at 
reasonable cost by this method is unlimited, the work 
of extension has gone steadily forward. Heretofore, 
the Milanese have relied upon ordinary well-water for 
drinking and domestic uses, while the canal system 
has supplied ample amounts of water for street-clean- 
ing and industrial purposes. 

For some years past there has been constant in- 
spection of the common wells, in order to guard against 
infection; and they are being gradually closed as'the 
new supply is extended. The complete use of the 

.. artesian water will reinforce a sanitary system that 


vigilance has much to commend it in other respects. The mu- 
nicipal laboratory as administered in Milan is an ad- 
mirable public agency. The service of disinfection is 
highly praised, and all the new methods by which 
the health of communities may be protected are 
ardently studied and applied by the sanitary authori- 
ties. The unsanitary modes of life of the masses of 
the laboring population are not to be wholly reformed 
in a single generation ; and, moreover, while the de- 



molitions and reconstructions have done much to 
improve the worst slums, the housing conditions of the 
inner city remain to a large extent unwholesome. 
And thus the death-rate is still higher than that of 
a few of the best communities of other countries. 
Nevertheless, the rapid population-growth of the past 
twenty-five years has had the benefit of improved 
building regulations ; and the average social condition 
of the Milanese has been wonderfully improved. Be- 
fore 1880, the Milan death-rate regularly exceeded 30 
per 1000, and in some years it was much higher than 
that. Since 1890 it has been strikingly lower, and in 
1894 it reached the exceptionally low figure of 21. 
The population, meanwhile, had grown from about 
330,000 at the opening of 1884 to about 430,000 on 
January 1, 1894 a gain of 30 per cent, in ten years. 
The statistical work of the municipal government is 
exceedingly thorough, and its relation to the public- 
health services is very important. 

It is well known that religious questions have in- 
terfered with the rapid development of a system of 
free, secular public schools in the Italian towns. But 
the Milan municipality has accomplished much in the 
educational field within a comparatively short time. 
Many new school buildings have been erected since 
1880, and nearly a thousand teachers are employed in 
the free public schools, 31,276 pupils being enrolled 
in 1892, with several thousand more in the evening 
classes. The municipal government, moreover, main- 
tains an admirable series of technical schools and 
special institutions, besides normal schools and the 
regular high schools. 

It is pleasant to be assured that in all the vigorous 
activities which mark the municipal government of 
Milan, the foremost citizens take the leading part. 
The giunta is composed of men of the best qualifica- 


Slum con- 

Decline in 



Progress of 



High char- 
acter of 



Turin and 


tions, who as a rule possess wealth and are glad to 
devote themselves to the affairs of the community. 
In a word, the aristocratic element is in executive 
control. The council contains its more popular ele- 
ments, but is representative of the best classes in the 
town. It has its sprinkling of active business men, 
lawyers, architects, and engineers; but, taking the 
municipal government as a whole, it seems to be 
chiefly in the hands of the "old families"; and it 
certainly commands the best talent that the city 
affords. In all its large operations, involving the 
making of contracts with corporations and the ex- 
penditure of great sums for public improvement, the 
municipal government of Milan is said to have kept 
itself above so much as the suspicion of jobbery or 
corrupt methods ; and its intelligence and good taste 
have been conspicuously displayed in almost every- 
thing it has done or sanctioned. Reelection of 
councilors is quite usual, and the yearly municipal 
election, at which sixteen of the eighty council seats 
are filled, is seldom attended with much excitement. 
Thus in the election of 1892, the number of voters 
registered on the municipal electoral rolls being 44,- 
594, there were only 14,177 votes actually cast, and 
this would appear to be an average election. 

The good character of the municipal administra- 
tion of Milan is by no means a solitary instance. I 
am assured that Turin and Genoa also enjoy the bene- 
fits of honest and efficient city governments, and that 
it is the prevailing custom of the north Italian cities 
to intrust their public affairs to the direction of their 
most talented and prominent citizens. This testi- 
mony seems to me to be confirmed by such observa- 
tions and direct investigations as I have been able to 
make. Genoa has made conspicuously successful 


efforts to improve her harbor facilities, great sums CHAP.IV. 
having been expended with resulting benefits to com- Genoa's bar- 
merce. The location of Genoa, so closely hemmed in 
by steep environing hills, has made it difficult to mod- 
ernize the street-system, although a number of great 
new thoroughfares have been opened. Among the 
most recent improvements has been a series of nota- 
ble connecting boulevards following the contour of 
the suburban hills, and affording marvelous sea views. 
The route as a whole is known as the Via di Circon- 
vallazione'a Monte. The growth of Genoa and its 
suburbs the total population of which has practi- 
cally doubled in a period of about thirty years has 
necessitated much modern building in the outskirts 
on the higher slopes, where air, water, and drainage 
are far better than in the congested old town below. 
And thus it requires no special endowments of opti- 
mism to discover marked gains in the average condi- 
tion of the people, while the vital statistics so elab- 
orately and thoroughly recorded under the admirable 
new sanitary code of Italy show unerringly the 
better security of child-life, the lessened ravages of 
infectious diseases, and the decline in the general 
mortality-rate. I am impressed, as I examine the 
municipal documents and reports of Genoa, with the 
conscientious and thorough organization of all the 
departments of the city government. It is evident sound ad- 
that the finances are administered upon good business 
principles; that the public works are in the hands of 
competent engineers; that the schools and charities are 
well conducted, and that the giunta knows how to 
deal with all the town's affairs in an orderly, well- 
balanced fashion, adapting means to ends, and shap- 
ing the municipal administration intelligently toward 
the best material and moral progress of the com- 


CHAP. iv. Turin is a larger city than Genoa, and a very pros- 
, perous and well-conducted one, with regularity as its 

distinguishing quality in all things. Its street sys- 
tem is as rectangular as any in America ; but this is 
not due altogether to modern rectifications. It seems 
that Turin was laid out as a new town for a Roman 
colony in the time of the Emperor Augustus, and that 
it was then inclosed with a rectangular wall and pro- 
vided with a checker-board street system. The ar- 
cheologists hold that the present streets of the old 
part of Turin follow the lines marked out by the civil 
engineers of the Augustan project. The additions to 
the original town have been carried out upon the rec- 
tangular plan, with the result of a regularity hardly 
equaled by any other European city. From 1859 to 
1865 Turin was the seat of government of the new 
Italian kingdom. Nearly every one of the chief cities 
of Italy has, within a generation, experienced what 
Western American towns term a " boom." The boom- 
ing period for Turin was from 1860 to 1865. There 
was much new building, many modern public enter- 
prises were undertaken, and population grew apace. 
The removal of the capital to Florence in 1865 was a 
sore disappointment to the citizens of Turin, and for a 
little time the population fell off, and public and pri- 
vate enterprise was checked. But the good citizens 

Reaction and m . . . , , , . . , <, , , . . , 

recovery, of Turin, with the vigorous aid of the municipal gov- 
ernment, turned their attention more earnestly than 
ever before to the town's industrial and commercial 
development. Water-power was introduced from the 
high lands in the vicinity as a municipal enterprise, 
an d diversified manufacturing began to flourish un- 
wontedly. In those palmy days of its political im- 
portance, Turin had 200,000 people ; but after thirty 
years it has grown to nearly 350,000, and has ceased 
to reflect with bitterness upon the loss it suffered in 


1865. Its natural health conditions are favorable, CHAP. iv. 
with good water from the mountains at hand, and 
suitable drainage provided by its river, the Po ; and 
there has been an intelligent adoption of sanitary ad- 

j ,L A mi j xi . 1.1*1. Health im- 

ministrative reforms. The death-rate, which from provements. 
1875 to 1885 averaged about 26, was only 21 in 1893 
and 20.6 in 1894. These years were perhaps excep- 
tional; but without a doubt the improved public 
methods have resulted in a permanent reduction of 

With the transfer of the seat of government, the 
speculative wave of modern change and expansion, 
which had enveloped Turin in the period from 1860 
to 1865, passed on to Florence. The metamorphosis Florence and 
which followed in the years 1865-71 attracted far 
more comment than the changes which had come 
about at Turin or Milan, for obvious reasons. Flor- 
ence was a smaller city, with comparatively slight in- 
dustrial importance, but with a marvelous wealth of 
historic associations and of surviving medieval art 
and architecture. The removal of the city walls in 
order to create Parisian boulevards, the rapid projec- 
tion of a new system of main streets throughout the 
entire municipal area, the laying out of new quarters, 
and the speculative construction of many new houses, 
with a growth of population from about 100,000 in 1861 
to 167,000 in 1871, all this meant a sudden transfor- 
mation that was exceedingly painful to foreign ar- 
tists, poets, arid students of the medieval Florence. 
The removal of the capital to Rome caused a reaction 
in Florence that bankrupted many individuals, and 
almost ruined the municipal finances. The popula- 
tion declined sharply with the removal of the govern- 
mental bureaus, and even in 1881 it was only 135,000 
20 per cent, less than in 1871. But time and the 


CHAP. iv. inevitable progress of cities have more than restored 
the loss, and at the end of 1893 the population ex- 
ceeded 200,000. Moreover, the later improvements 

More recent have been executed with better taste and judgment in 
works , matters of detail than those initiated in 1865 and the 
years immediately following ; and it is now confessed 
that Florence has not been altogether " vandalized " 
by the progressive Italians of the new regime. The 
medieval monuments of architecture and the priceless 
art collections are hardly less interesting in their 
modern setting; and to those who can understand 
that the history of our own time possesses no less 
dignity and value than the history of other centuries, 

Municipal ** g* ves no shock to find a modern municipal govern- 

offlcesinthe meut occupying the Palazzo Vecchio, in which the 
signers of the Florentine Republic once had their seat 
of government, and which has witnessed six eventful 
centuries. Just six hundred years ago Florence was 
undergoing a more relentless reconstruction than that 
* our owu & enera ti n - I* was then that the present 

years ago. town-hall was built, the old walls were demolished, 
suburbs were annexed, and the new walls were erected 
which have in our own day given place to the Viale or 
boulevards. The fascinating thing in Italy is the con- 
tinuity of life, and the determination to keep building 
new history upon the foundations of the old. The 
ancient Romans were mighty road-makers, aqueduct- 

the builders, and civil engineers ; and the beautiful ave- 
nues of Florence, with the extensive tram-lines tra- 
versing the town and its adjacent regions, would have 
their heartiest approval if appeal could be made to 
them; while the electric road up the heights to an- 
tique Fiesole, or the steam tram-line on the splendid 
new Viale dei Colli (a winding boulevard on the slopes 
of the suburban hills) would seem to them the very 
consummation of things most to be desired. They 



could not possibly comprehend the " Ruskinian affec- CHAP. iv. 
tation" (to quote Mr. Frederic Harrison) of sentimen- 
tal and obscurantist visitors to Italy, who " shudder 
at a railroad/' and "whine over the conditions of 
modern progress." It does not follow that all attempts 
at modernization are either necessary or wisely con- 
cei ved, and doubtless mistakes have been made at Flor- 
ence. But the painful sharpness of contrast is disap- 
pearing, and the new begins to harmonize with the 
old under the softening hand of time, aided by the 
more refined taste that now prevails. 

But transformations elsewhere in Italy were wholly 
eclipsed by those inaugurated at Rome when the. 
Quirinal became the seat of the national government, 
the sovereignty of the papal states having at last been 
merged with that of the now completed kingdom. 
Such an abrupt change from medieval to modern 
conditions has not been witnessed elsewhere. It was 
as if all the European changes since 1789 had been 
successfully repelled from invading the domains of 
the Church, and had then suddenly burst across the 
boundaries in one resistless flood. " There was," 
exclaimed Herman Grimm, " an infinite calm, a love- 
liness and stillness in which the poet and the scholar 
could draw near to the mighty dead who had once 
been there as living men. There was nothing like it 
on earth. Now it is destroyed forever. In the stead of 
this there are the stench of engines, the dust of shat- 
tered bricks, the scream of steam whistles, the mounds 
of rubbish, the poles of scaffolding, long lines of houses 
raised in frantic haste on malarious soil, enormous bar- 
racks representative of the martial law required to hold 
in check a liberated people ; all is dirt, noise, confusion, 
hideousness, crowding, clamor, avarice." Mr. Frederic 
Harrison, who admits the inevitability of the changes 

The new 

A startling 



CHAP. iv. 



wi go 
erne i87o? re 

and endeavors not to judge them harshly, does not 

* r y * concea l ^ s sense * l ss * n the disappearance 
of Rome's " medieval halo." And he reminds us of the 

. _ . ,. - 

" fern-clad rums standing in open spaces, gardens or 
vineyards ; the huge solitudes within the walls ; . . . 
the narrow, ill-lighted streets; the swarm of monks, 
friars, and prelates of every order and race ; the 
air of mouldering abandonment in the ancient city, 
as of some corner of medieval Europe left forgotten 
and untouched by modern progress, with all the historic 
glamour, the pictorial squalor, the Turkish routine, 
all the magnificence of obsolete forms of civilization 
which clung round the Vatican and were seen there 
only in western Europe." Such was the Rome of 
Mr. Harrison's first visit ; and now he finds that the 
" Rome, which, thirty years ago, was a vision of the 
past, is to-day a busy Italian town, with a dozen 
museums, striving to become a third-rate Paris." 
Mr. Harrison does full justice to the archeological 
intelligence and solicitude of the new possessors of 
Rome, and evidently perceives that the rapid growth 
of population which followed the establishment of the 
capital there must in any case have compelled in- 
numerable modern changes. Wherefore he does not 
inveigh against tendencies which no regrets or pro- 
tests could have checked and for which it would be 
useless to ascribe blame. 

The people of Rome knew practically nothing of 
communal self-government under the papal regime. 
Prior to 1847 there sat a sort of municipal council on 
the Capitoline, but it was not a representative body and 
it had powers of the most limited description. The 
meagerness of its functions is best illustrated by the size 
of its budget. It was allowed by the authorities of the 
Papal State an income of 35,000 scudi (188,125 lire, less 
than thirty-eight thousand dollars) a sum hardly 


equal to the expenditure of an enterprising village. It CHAP. iv. 
is to the credit of Pope Pius IX. that one of his first 
pontifical acts was the granting of a municipal consti- 
tution to Rome. This was in 1847. The new charter 
had many features of a comparatively liberal char- 
acter. But in the following year a great wave of revo- 
lution against arbitrary government swept across Eu- 
rope, and the Pope was driven from Eome only to be 
reinstated a year or two later by French arms. At the 
beginning of 1851 the papal government promulgated 
a law depriving the municipal authorities of most of 
their independent powers and again reducing the mu- 
nicipality to a mere shadow. From 1851 to 1870 the Municipal 
communal budget ranged from about 2,000,000 to S^SSftlSi 
about 3,500,000 lire annually (from $400,000 to $700,- 
000. Among the principal sources of income were the 
regular appropriations from the papal government of 
about $200,000 a year ; the taxes superimposed upon 
the government's levies on houses and lands and on 
wine and spirits, and the tax upon horses and do- 
mestic animals. The six principal items of expendi- 
ture were for streets and ordinary public works, 
administration, lighting, cleansing, cemeteries, and 

In view of the completeness of the papal authority 
and of the immense wealth of the Church, the physi- The church's 
cal condition of the holy city was far from creditable "Some 
to the government. In 1870, when the papal pro- 
vinces became a part of the new kingdom of Italy, 
and Eome was made the royal capital, its people were 
granted the municipal liberties that the other cities Municipal 

TI i i i 11 A . . , . liome-rule 

of Italy enjoyed, and the new era of municipal im- in mo. 
provement was entered upon immediately. How 
promptly the public services were extended to meet 
the needs of a great community can best be expressed 
in the condensed terms of budgetary statistics. The 






New public 

municipal income, which had been only 3,500,000 lire 
in 1870, and which for twenty years had averaged 
only about 2,700,000 lire, exceeded 19,000,000 in 
1872, and reached 28,000,000 in 1885. The average 
municipal income and expenditure for the twenty 
years following the new order of things instituted in 
1870, was nearly ten times as great as the average 
for the twenty years immediately preceding. 

The comparison admirably illustrates the enlarge- 
ment of public functions in recent times. In most 
cities the expansion had been gradual and the con- 
trast was less sharp. But Rome seemed in a year to 
have made up for a century of lost time. Until 1870 
the public services were costing at the rate of about 
fourteen lire a year for each inhabitant. In 1872 
the expenditure per capita was ninety lire. Growth of 
population has since diminished the per-capita sum ; 
but the annual average is seventy-five or eighty lire. 
Under the old regime the street-lighting was insuffi- 
cient ; it was immediately so extended as to cost three 
and a half times as much as before. Street-scaven- 
ging in like manner was made vastly more effi- 
cient. The sanitary service prior to 1870 had cost 
about 75,000 lire a year. After 1871 it amounted to 
1,400,000 a year, an increase of nearly twentyfold. 
The outlay for public works, including streets, sewers, 
accommodation for the various public services and the 
other usual items, also illustrates the radical change 
to which I have referred. Under the new regime this 
outlay at once expanded several-fold. In the old 
days there were no communal schools, while now 
the maintenance of elementary instruction under the 
compulsory school law entails a very considerable 
expense. The fire department has been reorganized, 
modernized, and enlarged. 

Previous to 1871 the city was not supplied with a 



system of sewers. The new authorities adopted a 
scientific plan for the complete drainage of the city, 

, , ~, TUT j j-i j- 

using the Cloaca Maxima and other gigantic sewers 
of ancient Rome for the main tunnels. The system 
has been steadily worked out, with immense advan- 
tage to the health and convenience of the people. 
The water-supply of Borne had been famous in the 
ancient times, numerous high sources in the vicinity 
of the city having always been ready to yield an 
abundant quantity; and from time to time the an- 
cient Romans constructed new aqueducts to meet the 
needs of the growing metropolis. During the later 
period of the Roman empire, the city was magnifi- 
cently furnished with pure water. But in the dark 
period that followed the triumph of the barbarian in- 
vaders, both the water-supply and the drainage-sys- 
tern became deranged. The sewers were choked up, 
and the aqueducts were broken down. The time 
came when the Roman population was obliged to re- 
sort to the Tiber, and to dig wells, for its water-sup- 
ply. The Tiber water is unfit for domestic uses; 
and, as might easily be believed of so ancient a city, 
the subsoil is saturated with poisonous impurities that 
render well-water dangerously unwholesome. The 
later popes accomplished some good work in the 
restoration of aqueducts; but until the new and 
secular order of things was fairly inaugurated, the 
water-system remained lamentably bad. This was 
the more inexcusable because the situation made a 
good supply and thorough distribution so very feasi- 
ble. It was not until 1885, as the result of alarming 
disclosures by the chemists and bacteriologists of a 
special commission on the hygiene of the municipal- 
ity of Rome, that all the wells were peremptorily 
closed. The municipal authorities have repaired the 
splendid old aqueducts, improved the reservoirs, and 

CHAP. iv. 




lange<l - 

Tiber - 

w tS\88? ei1 




The now 


of sanitary 

rate of mor- 

brought the daily supply up to a total of 60,000,000 
gallons, or more, about 150 gallons a day for each 
inhabitant. To take the place of the closed wells 
the municipal authorities have added greatly to the 
number of public fountains. At the beginning of 
1886 there were in the city 162 ancient fountains of 
public supply, and 167 more that had been opened 
since 1870, not counting 25 or 30 fountains of a 
monumental or artistic character. The number has 
been somewhat increased since 1886, and this record 
is among the most creditable of the many reforms of 
the new municipality. 

A most gratifying reduction of the death-rate, es- 
pecially as regards those classes of diseases that are 
amenable to sanitary science, has followed the im- 
provements of drainage, of water-supply, of cleans- 
ing, and of general health administration. One of 
the first acts of the new government in 1870 was the 
establishment of an office of Igiene ed assistenza sani- 
taria; and the functions and usefulness of this de- 
partment have been steadily augmented from year to 
year. This work is carefully systematized, and includes 
a service of food inspection, one of house-to-house 
inspection for nuisances, a vaccination service, a new 
hospital system for the isolation of epidemic diseases 
with the chief establishment in a secluded area on 
the Aventine Hill, a system of sanitary regulation for 
cemeteries and funerals, a house service of medical 
and health assistance for the poor, a service of public 
dormitories, an exceedingly interesting and useful se- 
ries of stations for night medical relief, and still other 
distinct features. The death-rate of Rome in 1876 
was within a fraction of 30 per 1000. It was lower 
in 1877, but the average for 1878, 1879, and 1880 was 
just under 28. In 1885 it was 26; in 1893, 22.3, and 
in 1894 only 19.4. 



The systematic reform of the street-system of Borne 
did not begin at once with the change of administra- 
tion. It seemed to be forced upon the municipality 
by the development of population and the necessity 
for accommodating a traffic which had enormously 
increased. The railroad system of Italy had been ex- 
tended, and Rome had become one of its centers. In 
1860 the population was only 184,000. In 1870 it was 
226,000, and in 1880 it had increased to more than 
300,000; and the temporary sojourners and visitors 
who thronged the streets were a vastly multiplied 
host. Moreover, there was prospect of a continued 
rapid growth. Half a million people before the end 
of the century appeared a reasonable estimate ; and 
how could such a community, busy and eager, rest 
content in the absence of main street arteries and of 
the facilities for transit and traffic that have become 
universal in this age ? Certainly the outlook of the 
municipal authorities of 1880 has been justified by the 
subsequent facts. The population at the opening of 
1894 exceeded 451,000, and the gains had been at a 
rate which made it reasonable to expect that the fig- 
ures would reach 500,000 in 1900. What the Roman 
people could have done under these conditions of 
growth and commercial progress without a reformed 
street-system, I have never heard any of the critics 
attempt to explain. 

Some preliminary and detached improvements had 
been made earlier, but it was not until 1883 that the 
so-called piano regolatore the complete scheme for the 
straightening and enlarging of the chief thoroughfare 
system, was finally adopted and set in motion. It 
had for its examples the notable improvements of re- 
cent years in the street-systems of a score of impor- 
tant European cities from England to Hungary. It 
has seemed to me that the Roman project was a rea- 


Need of 
street re- 


The plans 
of 1883. 




works loan. 

Some of the 

new achieve- 


sonable and conservative one ; that is to say, as little 
arbitrary and destructive as circumstances could well 
allow, and notably different in its spirit and methods 
from the iconoclastic and uncompromising nature of 
the earlier Parisian projects. Inasmuch as nearly every 
street in Borne except in the new suburbs was 
narrow and irregular, leading nowhere in particular, 
the reformers determined that some main arteries 
were indispensable, and proceeded to create them. It 
was resolved to contract a municipal loan of 150,000,- 
000 lire ($30,000,000) for the accomplishment of the 
work, the Italian government lending its aid by a 
guaranty of the debt. One of the first great works 
undertaken was the creation of the new Via Nazionale 
in extension eastward of the Corso Vittorio Eman- 
uele, at a cost of more than twelve million lire. At 
the western end of this broad Corso, which until 1890 
led nowhither, heavy demolitions were made to cut 
the thoroughfare through to the new Tiber bridge 
Vittorio Emanuele, and further demolitions on the 
west side of the Tiber were to continue the avenue as 
a broad and unobstructed approach to the Piazza of 
St. Peter's. Another of the new streets is the Via Ca- 
vour, leading eastward from the Forum to the main 
railway station. At the foot of the Corso, and ex- 
tending to the east side of the Forum, very important 
demolitions were required by the plan. The magnifi- 
cent new retaining walls of the Tiber and the new 
bridges Garibaldi and Umberto were built as a part 
of this huge improvement scheme; and broad thor- 
oughfares were projected, with much demolition of 
old structures, as approaches to these bridges. These 
details are sufficient perhaps to indicate the character 
of a project which required more than one decade for 
its entire completion, but which has already effected 
most noteworthy transformations. 


But still more recent than the u piano regolatore * are CHAP. iv. 
other glittering projects evolved by the enterprising 
municipal government of Rome, with the cooperation 
of an ambitious national government that desires to 
make its capital one of the finest and most attractive 
of modern cities. One of these projects is the estab- AH uchno- 
lishment of the lines of a Passeggiata Archeologica. log vatfoT er 
Within the area thus delimited it was determined that 
there should be no further erection of private build- 
ings, and it was the purpose of the government to 
exappropriate and acquire the entire tract, and con- 
vert it into a public park, whose chief attractions 
would be the ruined monuments of old Rome. The 
passeggiata contains within its precincts the Forum, 
the Coliseum, the Forum of Trajan, the baths of 
Titus, the remains of the palaces of the Caesars on the 
Palatine, the Circus Maximus, the baths of Caracalla, 
the temples of Vesta and Fortuna, and other ancient 
remains, and includes an extensive area of land made 
up of parts of the Capitoline, Aventine, Palatine, and 
Ccelian hills, an area densely populated in ancient 
times, but now almost bare, and lying to the south of 
the heart of the modern city. Not only would this 
reserved area make a noble park, but it would also, 
when cleared according to the proposed plans, render 
the archeological remains by far more intelligible in 
their relative positions than they have been hitherto. 
Moreover, new and instructive discoveries are con- 
stantly being made by excavations. 

A much larger project, so far as cost and superficies 
are concerned, is that of a grand park and boulevard- 
system in the district now occupied by scattered villas 
and gardens north of the Porta Pinciana and within 
the bend of the Tiber. This is planned upon a mag- 
nificent scale, and its realization will cost an enor- A] p3k! Be 
mous sum. Inasmuch as the project itself is defi- 



Activity in 



CHAP. iv. nitely conceived, and is agreed upon by the govern- 
ments of the State and the municipality, it might be 
carried into effect gradually and the expenditure dis- 
tributed through a long series of years. But financial 
difficulties are compelling the postponement of active 
work on such projects, perhaps until the opening of 
the new century. I have instanced enough to show 
that the rehabilitation of Rome as begun and as 
planned will entitle it in due time to rank among the 
most progressive of modern cities. 

While these improvements have been made under 
public auspices, Rome has been the scene of a remark- 
able amount of building by private owners. Along 
the revised or newly created business thoroughfares 
are to be found long lines of new commercial edifices; 
but it is in the erection of large and high residence 
blocks that the building activity has been greatest. 
Lying adjacent to the older city on every side are 
new quarters platted in regular squares, and largely 
built upon with plain but superior and massive apart- 
ment-houses. The greater part of this new construc- 
tion has been made since 1880, and much is now in 
progress. Thus a large addition has, within a few 
years, been built up in very regular blocks just north 
of the castle San Angelo ; and as one looks out over 
it from the eastern balconies of the Vatican, the effect 
of Chicago-like newness is very strange. The most 
extensive of these new quarters are, however, at the 
opposite side of the city, in the east and northeast. 
For its own official uses the government caused to be 
prepared, several years ago, an elaborate map show- 
ing by different colors the demolitions required under 
the street-regulation plan, the proposed boulevard 
system in the north, with the projected new Mar- 
gherita Park, the perimeter of the passeggiata archeo- 
logica in the south, the tracts of ground occupied or 

\. map of the 



reserved by the government as sites of actual or pro- 
posed public buildings, the built-up area as it existed 
in 1870, the new house-building accomplished in the 
decade 1870-80, that from 1880 to 1888, and that in 
process or anticipation in 1889. The rapid creation 
of a new Rome, as thus shown graphically, is most 

It is a satisfaction to observe that the new tenement- 
houses of Rome are a vast improvement over the old 
ones in structural and sanitary respects. While the 
housing of the population of large cities is admittedly 
the most serious social question of the day, and while 
only a few cities have ventured upon the policy of 
extensive exappropriation, demolition, and rebuilding 
for the sole or chief purpose of improving the dwell- 
ings of the poor, it is fortunate that many cities have 
been awakened to the important fact that much future 
evil can be averted by strict regulations as regards 
the character and arrangements of new houses. The 
building rules of a city have a public and social im- 
portance that is now, tardily, becoming recognized. 
Of Rome it can certainly be said that the average 
character of the house accommodation of families has 
improved materially, although, as yet, the housing of 
the very poorest classes is probably little better than 
twenty years ago. The present building regulations 
of Rome, adopted after very careful consideration in 
1887, are among the most approved and advanced in 
the world. They bring under strict public surveil- 
lance everything that has to do with the style, mate- 
rials, construction, size, and sanitary arrangements 
of buildings. For example, they establish the rule 
that the height of buildings must not exceed once 
and a half the width of the street upon which they 
front, with the proviso, however, of a minimum height 
of fourteen meters and a maximum of twenty-four. 


of building. 

The new 
rules at 


for light and 









The awaken- 
ing of 

They require that buildings shall be provided with 
inner courts, the narrowest side of which shall not 
measure less than one third the height of the build- 
ing; and they do not permit a narrower space between 
houses than the width prescribed for courts. 

Those who have examined the buildings of the old, 
crowded parts of European cities, where there is the 
least possible free spaxse left unbuilt upon, and there- 
fore the most inadequate provision for air and light, 
can best appreciate the importance of a regulation 
requiring a reasonable area of open courts. The 
Roman regulations further establish the minimum 
height of ceilings, require that every apartment or 
group of apartments designed for a family shall have 
water-supply and sewer connections, and enter into 
great detail as regards all matters of appearance and 
health. Gradually, through the operation of these 
enlightened rules for new building, and through de- 
molitions from time to time of ancient tenements, the 
housing of the Roman population will become en- 
tirely transformed. One section of the new building 
code of 1887 authorized the Commissione Edilizia to 
make out a list of all structures of an historical and 
artistic character, and forbade their destruction or 
alteration, even by their private owners, without pub- 
lic authority. Thus, while Rome is rebuilding, there 
is nothing of real interest or worth that is allowed to 

Rome's municipal undertakings were, however, des- 
tined in turn to be surpassed by those of another Italian 
city. Naples awoke in its turn, and entered in a sys- 
tematic manner upon what is perhaps the largest 
definite program of sanitary renovation ever un- 
dertaken by any city, a scheme whose full accom- 
plishment can cost hardly less than 500,000,000 lire 



reu va lon * 

The new 

water and 


($100,000,000). The project owes its inception to the CHAP. iv. 
cholera epidemic of 1884, or, rather, the epidemic 
was the occasion, while the new energy and courage 
of United Italy gave origin to the plan of action. 
The whole country was aroused in behalf of Naples, 
and the parliament in 1885 voted an appropriation of 
100,000,000 lire toward the cost of a complete new 
sewer-system, a new water-system, a scheme of sweep- 
ing demolitions and street alterations in the low and 
crowded quarters of the city, and a corresponding 
plan for the construction of new quarters on the 
higher ground at the eastern limits, and ultimately on 
the northern and western slopes. Naturally, much 
delay was experienced in the arrangement of prelimi- 
naries, in negotiations with private owners, and in the 
development of the plan in detail. The new water. 
supply was introduced immediately, from high moun- 
tain sources near Avellino, fifty or sixty miles dis- 
tant. The sewer-system was taken in hand also and 
prosecuted with energy. 

But the piano di risanamento the project of re- 
habilitating the old quarters was found as delicate 
in detail as it was huge in its entirety. It was not Tiie"risana- 

* mento be- 

until the summer of 1889 that the actual work was gun in isso. 
begun, in the presence of the king and queen, who had 
taken a deep interest in it from the beginning. A 
few statistics may be of assistance in explaining the 
scope of this undertaking, as furnished by the com- 
munal assessor, Professor Alberto Marghieri. The 
number of proprietors whose property was to be 
taken in whole or in part was 7100, 5400 of these 
exappropriations being entire. The awards for such 
property were estimated at not less than 93,000,000 statistics of 
lire. The amount of ground to be cleared and re- 
built, or to be redeemed and raised to a higher grade, 
was about 1,000,000 square meters. The area of 




transfer of 

Motives of 
the project. 

An end of 

Antiquity of 

the Naples 


improvement included 271 old streets, of which 144 
were to be abolished entirely, and 127 retained and 
widened. The number of people to be unhoused was 
about 90,000. Of habitations destined to be destroyed 
there were 17,000. Churches to the number of 62 
were doomed, as were a large number of shops and 
other establishments. Streets and open squares rep- 
resented 22 per cent, of the area to be renewed. Un- 
der the new scheme they would occupy 62 per cent, of 
the area. The population of the area had a density 
in 1889 of 1610 per hectare (2 acres). This would 
be reduced to 700 per hectare, and perhaps to still 
less ; for the new quarters (piano di ampliamento) in 
the suburbs were eventually to provide house-room for 
180,000 persons. 

The carrying out of this vast reform was to be ac- 
companied by the enforcement of improved sanitary 
laws, and by various minor municipal improvements. 
It was also believed that a great industrial impetus 
would be given to Naples, and that as a result of the 
general stir and agitation the thousands of occupa- 
tionless plebeians might be evolved into a regular 
working class. Costly as the great experiment must 
be, its courageous advocates had no doubt that it 
would be profitable. They believed that the expendi- 
ture would not represent wealth sunk and lost, but 
on the contrary, that it would be a most advantageous 
investment for Naples and for Italy. It promises in 
any event practically to end Italian epidemics ; and 
that result alone would justify a far greater invest- 
ment, even from the purely commercial point of view. 
It is pleasant to believe that the new Naples is to be 
worthy of its beautiful situation and its unsurpassed 
environment. The quarters undergoing renovation 
are very old, dating back in part to the Greco-Roman 
period, and in part to the early middle ages ; but there 


was comparatively little of priceless value in their an- CHAP. iv. 
tiquity. The existence of these overcrowded and un- 
wholesome slums is much less disgraceful, when the 
facts are considered impartially, than is the recent 
development of crowded and unwholesome slums in 
American cities, where the neglect of simple and ob- 
vious preventive measures has made it certain that 
drastic and costly remedies must be employed in a 
future not far distant. 

The Naples projects have made very large advances 
toward completion, although the execution of the full 
plans will yet require a number of years. About 50,- 
000,000 lire had been paid to dispossessed owners from ^-ogress. 
1889 to 1894, the chief new thoroughfares in the old 
quarters had been constructed, and thousands of good 
houses had been built in the new districts, in confor- 
mity with the requirements of a strict new code of 
building regulations. Many thousands of people had 
been transferred to the improved dwellings, and street- 
railway lines had been placed in operation on the re- 
formed avenues and extended to the attractive sub- 
urban additions. The actual carrying out both of the 
^risanamento" project and of the "ampliamento" Execution of 
schemes were intrusted to private companies with a hands of 

large capital which act as agents of the municipal gov- 
eminent under carefully devised contracts. Although 
large sums are involved in the necessary operations, it 
is to be expected that the resales of street frontage on 
important new business streets, and good financial 
management in the new residence quarters, will ulti- 
mately reimburse the municipal treasury for the 
greater part of the investment. Meanwhile, the trans- 
formations already accomplished have proved them- Effe( . t n 
selves eminently advantageous to the city in all the mortality. 
phases of its life. A usual death-rate for Naples until 
recently was 33 or more per 1000. It is not time yet 


As to the 

Growth of 

Earlier im- 



to expect radical results from sanitary reforms to which 
the domestic life of the people has become adapted only 
to a limited extent. But the rate for 1894 was reduced 
to 27.5 5 and it is likely that the average will hence- 
forth be lower even than this encouraging figure. 

Naples remains the most populous Italian city, al- 
though Rome and Milan have been gaining upon it 
rapidly. In the early sixties it had about 450,000 
people, and no other city of Italy had nearly half so 
many. The Neapolitans of thirty years ago were not 
an effective population, but included great swarms of 
idlers and beggars. There were in 1895 about 540,000 
people in Naples; and the changed times, with new 
industrial opportunities, have much improved the 
average status of the inhabitants, and diminished the 
numbers of the unoccupied poor. 

Since 1880, the growth of Palermo, Sicily's capital, 
now the fifth Italian city in size, has been very note- 
worthy. It had iji that year hardly more than 200,000 
people, while at the opening of 1894 it had 276,000, 
with the prospect of reaching the 300,000 mark at the 
end of the decade. The municipality of Palermo has 
exhibited a surprising vigor in the construction of 
new avenues, and in the general amplification and 
adornment of the city. The two broad, straight 
avenues, which meet at right angles in the heart of 
the city and cut Palermo into four sections, do not 
belong to the present era of reconstruction, but were 
executed by the Spanish viceroys of Sicily, who made 
Palermo their seat of government in the sixteenth 
and seventeenth centuries. But many new avenues 
attest the zeal of the present municipal authorities. 
The spirit of modern enterprise has taken full pos- 
session of the town. New water-works, drainage- 
schemes, and other sanitary reforms ; much attention 


to paving; rapid progress in the extension of street- CHAP. iv. 
railways ; a decided taste for electrical applications 
all these are characteristics of a town that dates from 
Phenician times, but feels itself as young and modern 
as an Australian capital. 

There are smaller cities in Italy which have caught 
the infection of modern progress; but of Bologna 
and Leghorn, Catania, and the rest, it is needless to 
discourse. What they are attempting is merely to 
follow the example of their more important contem- 
poraries. Venice has hitherto escaped any very shock- 
ing alterations. Few casual visitors would be likely 
to have discovered how much attention the Venetian 
authorities had of late been devoting to various sani- Engineering 
tary engineering projects. Happily, the new water- p v35. at 
supply of Venice, the new sewer projects, the plan for 
a great hospital for infectious diseases, and various 
other proposed reforms could not affect the pictu- 
resqueness of the place. But with exceedingly little 
new construction of houses, the Venetian population 
has expanded since 1866 by more than 30,000 people. 

llecent over- 

And this increase of 25 per cent, (from about 120,000 crowding <>r 
to more than 150,000) has resulted in a very serious tenement!. 
overcrowding of the old tenements, in consequence of 
which the death-rate has materially increased, partic- 
ularly within the past fifteen or twenty years. Obvi- 
ously, the situation of Venice does not permit an easy 
and simple overflow into attractive suburbs. To re- 
lieve congestion in slums of a growingly bad charac- 
ter, the municipal authorities, with the revision and A formidable 
approval of the central government, have drawn up a construction. 
project that will necessitate a large amount of demo- 
lition and rebuilding, attended with street rectifica- 
tions and other changes. The limited ground area 
makes it essential to plan for the most economical 
utilization of space in reconstruction. 


CHAP. iv. It is with some misgivings that I have endeavored 
to acquaint myself with the nature and scope of these 
plans. So far as I have studied them, however, I 
have been led toward the welcome impression that 
their carrying out will not very materially lessen the 
tobe charm of Venice, and that the parts of the city most 
frequented by visitors will remain practically undis- 
turbed. Into the details of the pending projects it is 
not necessary to enter. It is only to be said that the 
But modern- adoption at Venice of a piano di risanamento e piano 

ized, never- \ i i i , i i -A 

theicss. regolatore, which plans concern themselves with nu- 
ove arterie di comunicasione, marks the final victory 
of the modern spirit of practical progress and of sani- 
tary reform in its relentless assaults upon the famous 
old cities of western and central Europe. 



" 1%/TUNICIPAL housekeeping/ 7 as a science and an 
Lf-JL art, evolved out of the conditions of life pre- 
vailing in the last half of the nineteenth century, can 
for various reasons be observed to better advantage in 
Germany than in any other country. It is true that 
the German cities had been somewhat tardy in pro- 
viding themselves with modern conveniences and im- 
provements. But now, having fairly entered upon the Municipal 
task, they are accomplishing it in a more systematic, 
thorough, and businesslike way than any other cities, 
whether in Europe, America, or Aiistralia. The Ger- 
mans have been in their habits of life a rather primi- 
tive, simple people less fastidious than the English, 
French, or Americans. In large part they have been 
a rural people ; and whether in town or in country, 
the average family income has been very small, and 
the ordinary scale of living extremely modest. The 
arrangements of the towns had partaken of this sim- 
ple, old-fashioned regime of family and social life, and 
had been in like manner primitive and unsuited to 
the demands of a complex, artificial civilization, and 
altogether regardless of the new sciences of sanitation 
and city-making. 

But a great change has come over the German na- 
tion, and nowhere is its altered character shown more 
distinctly than in the expansion and progress of the 

19 289 




A pending 

of living 


Effective ad- 

cities. The centers of population are growing with 
extraordinary rapidity by inflow from the rural dis- 
tricts. The Germans are in the midst of a quick 
transition from an agricultural into a manufacturing 
people. The old seats of petty princes or dukes are 
coming into a transformed and enlarged existence as 
industrial towns. Railways and traffic have lately 
become factors of a wholly new importance, helping 
to emphasize the distinction between town and country 
and to modernize the character of the towns. 

Simultaneously with this recent growth of indus- 
tries and town population in Germany, there has been 
arising in large part from military success and 
enhanced international prestige and importance a 
marked advance in the standards of living, and a new 
demand for modern and luxurious appointments. An 
intense quickening of national pride has made the 
people and the governing authorities eager to adopt 
late improvements, and ambitious to rival France, 
England, and America in matters that Germany had 
before neglected. 

To this work of modern improvement, especially 
in public appointments, the Germans seem to have 
brought more of the scientific spirit and method than 
any other people. Their habits of thoroughness in 
research, and of patient, exhaustive treatment of any 
subject in hand, have fully characterized their new 
progress in the ai'ts of civilized life. 

Ab,ove all, the Germans had already developed a 
system of public administration more economical and 
more infallibly effective than could have been found 
elsewhere ; and they were prepared, when the growth 
of their cities and the new demand for modern im- 
provements made necessary a great increase in the 
number and variety of public functions, to do in the 
best possible way whatever it was decided to under- 



take. So confident were they, indeed, in the efficiency 
of their administrative organization, that they dared 
to assign to the municipalities spheres of action which 
elsewhere have been left to private effort. 

The Germans have, unquestionably, a higher capa- 
city for organized social action than Anglo-Saxon or 
Celtic peoples ; and the socialism of the State or mu- 
nicipality or the increase of " collectivism," if one 
likes that word better than "socialism," meaning 
thereby the multiplication of the business functions 
of government might naturally be expected to have 
made greater progress in Germany than elsewhere. 
Moreover, as I have had occasion to remark in writ- 
ing of affairs in the Danubian valley, when a nation's 
political and military progress has very much out- 
stripped its industrial progress, public initiative is 
relatively stronger than private initiative ; and it is 
comparatively easy for the people to agree to act to- 
gether through their governmental agencies in estab- 
lishing this or that enterprise of common concern. 
In central, eastern, and southeastern Europe private 
capital is far less highly developed than in Prance, 
the Netherlands, England, and the United States; 
and the recent demand for various modern facilities 
and improvements has not found native entrepre- 
neurs and private capitalists prepared to meet it ade- 
quately. Circumstances have seemed to render it 
practically necessary for national or municipal gov- 
ernments to inaugurate and conduct many such en- 
terprises. This suggestion has very pertinent bearing 
upon our general subject of German municipal eco- 
nomics ; for, unless due weight were given to such 
considerations, we should be in danger of making our 
estimates and comparisons without a proper allow- 
ance for the dissimilar conditions that determine the 
scope of public functions in different countries. 

CHAP. v. 

initiative is 
natural in 




Berlin as a 



Newness of 



growth of 

German and 



In the rapidity of its growth, in its regularity, and 
in its general air of newness, Berlin suggests Chicago. 
But while Chicago in its buildings and appointments 
other than governmental and municipal is for the 
most part superior to Berlin, the German capital is 
incomparably superior to Chicago in its municipal 
and public arrangements. Chicago and our other 
fast-growing American cities find great difficulty in 
extending urban facilities to keep pace in any decent 
fashion with the growth of population and the en- 
largement of area ; but in Berlin the authorities have 
systematically and easily provided for the develop- 
ment of a city that is several times as large as it was 
in 1860, and that has within a few years been trans- 
forming all its services and appointments. 

We Americans have such a surfeit at home of new 
towns and new extensions of older towns, that it 'is 
not surprising that we should be looking for the old 
rather than the new in our European travels. The 
guide-books are all made upon the supposition that 
American tourists are painfully eager to see every- 
thing of antiquarian or historical interest, and that 
they care nothing whatever for Europe as the preseiit- 
day home of progressive peoples. For the most part, 
therefore, we fail to appreciate the full force and sig- 
nificance of the immense modern impetus that is 
transforming the European cities. Most of them 
have an ancient or medieval nucleus, but otherwise 
they are as new as our American cities, and in many 
respects they are more modern and enterprising. 

Indeed, there seems to be an almost unconquerable 
delusion in the popular mind that our American cities 
are the only ones which show the phenomenon of 
rapid growth, and that their newness excuses their 
failure to provide well for the common necessities of 
urban life. I must ask leave to present a few statis- 


tics to meet this delusion. In 1870 New York was a CHAP - v - 
considerably more populous city than Berlin. It had 
nearly 950,000 people, while Berlin had barely 800,- 
000. In 1880 Berlin had outgrown New York, and in 


1890 it still maintained the lead, having 1,578 7 794 York,'chi- 
people as against New York's 1,515,301. Chicago's Ph?i!dei">h 


relative gain has been higher ; but Berlin in the past 
twenty-five years has added as many actual new resi- 
dents as has Chicago. Thirty years ago Philadelphia 
was a larger city than Berlin ; but since then it has 
added only half a million souls to its total number, 
while Berlin has added a million. These figures are 
cited in order to give a comparative impression of the 
problems Berlin has had to meet in providing for the 
accommodation of its expanding municipal household. 

Let us take another instance. In 1875 Hamburg 
had 348,000 people, and Boston had 342,000. In 1890 Hamburg, 
Hamburg had 569,260, and Boston had 448,000. Ham- Ultimo?" d 
burg had gained more than 200,000 in fifteen years, 
and Boston had gained only a little more than 100,000. 
Yet Boston's growth has been accounted remarkable. 
Baltimore is sometimes likened for wealth and pros- 
perity to Hamburg. In the early seventies they were 
of equal size. But Hamburg has grown twice as fast. 
In 1880 the Gorman port had 410,127 dwellers, and in 
1890 they were 569,260, while Baltimore's census for 
the same years showed 332,313 and 434,439. The areas 
of Boston, Baltimore, and Hamburg were about equal. 

The third German city in size is Leipsic. It is a 
manufacturing town which had 127,000 people in 
1875, 149,000 in 1880, 170,000 in 1885, and 355,000 in 
1890. The annexation of suburbs accounts in part 
for the immense gain of the half decade from 1885 to 
1890; but it also explains the comparatively small 
gains of the preceding decade, growth being princi- 
pally in the outer belt. St. Louis grew from 350,000 



CHAP. v. in 1880 to nearly 452,000 in 1890. But Leipsic has 
grown at a much higher rate. It has now well-dis- 
tanced San Francisco, which was considerably the 
larger in the seventies. 

Munich, which has now been slightly outgrown by 
Leipsic, though formerly much the larger of the two, 
Munich, is still growing at a very respectable rate. In 1875 
Cincinnati! its denizens were 193,000 in number, and in 1880, 
230,000. In 1890 they were 349,000. It has grown at 
a much higher rate in the past decade or two than 
the American cities of corresponding size. Breslau, 
the second city of Prussia, has lost much by emigra- 
tion ; but still it grows. Its population had expanded 
from 272,900 in 1880 to 335,200 in 1890. Meanwhile 
Cincinnati had grown from 255,139 to 296,908. 

In the same decade Cologne had grown from 144,- 
ci "vefanii, 800 to 281,800. This may be compared with the gain 
B pit&u^ d of Cleveland (Ohio) from 160,000 to 261,000 5 with 
Buffalo's growth from 155,000 to 255,600; and Pitts- 
burg's from 156,000 to 238,600. Cologne was very 
much the smallest of the four in 1880, and very 
much the largest of the four in 1890. Yet Buffalo, 
Pittsburg, and Cleveland have been accounted most 
remarkable for their expansion in that decade. Dres- 
den, the charming Saxon capital, had 220,800 people 

in 1880, and New Orleans, our own charming south- 
Dresden and 770 
New Orleans, ern capital, had 216,000. Thus they were of nearly 

equal size. In 1890 Dresden had grown to 276,500, 
and New Orleans to 242,000. A difference of less 
than 5000 had increased to one of nearly 35,000. De- 
troit and Milwaukee had each approximately 205,000 
people in 1890, and Magdeburg, Prussia, had 202,000. 
But Detroit and Milwaukee had each about 116,000 in 

andMUwau. 188Q? while Magdeburg ha( J Qnly 97^500. It should be 

explained that Magdeburg during the decade had an- 
nexed some large suburbs , but it remains true that 



its rate of growth compares favorably with that of 
these two American cities. Frankf ort-on-the-Main had 
180,000 people by the census of 1890, and Newark, New 
Jersey, had 181,800. Frankfort had 136,800 in 1880, 
and Newark had 136,500. 

Hanover in the ten years had grown from 122,800 
to 163,600, and Konigsberg from 122,600 to 161,500 ; 
Louisville, Kentucky, had in the same period grown 
from 123,758 to 161,129, and Jersey City had grown 
from 120,722 to 163,003. Hanover and Konigsberg 
had gained faster than Louisville, but not quite so 
fast as Jersey City. Each of the four had added 
about forty thousand to its numbers. Minneapolis, 
which ranks with these four in size, though somewhat 
exceeding them all, had a growth in the first half of 
the decade that was wholly exceptional. But in the 
last half it grew not much faster than a number 
of German cities of similar rank. Neither did Kan- 
sas City, nor St. Paul, nor Omaha. Minneapolis had 
129,000 in 1885 and 164,700 in 1890. Magdeburg 
much outdid that record. St. Paul had 111,000 in 
1885 and 133,156 in 1890. Diisseldorf, with 95,000 
in 1880, had 115,000 in 1885, and 144,680 in 1890 
which quite distances St. Paul. Chemnitz, that stir- 
ring factory town of Saxony, with 95,000 in 1880, and 
110,800 in 1885, had 138,955 in 1890 again distanc- 
ing St. Paul and its American group. 

Altona, Hamburg's next-door neighbor, had grown 
from 91,000 to 143,000 in ten years, while Albany, the 
capital of New York, beginning at just the same 
point 91,000 in 1880 had only grown to 95,000. 
Rochester, New York, had 89,366 inhabitants (about 
as many as Altona) in 1880, and 133,896 in 1890, while 
Altona had 143,000. Chemnitz also had fully kept 
its lead on Rochester, Our prosperous and growing 
manufacturing city of Providence, from which many 


and Newark. 

Jersey City, 
and Minne- 

St. Paul. 






CHAP. v. 



A compari- 

'Sages! 11 

cultivated men and women have gone to visit that 
quaint and stationary" old German town, Nurem- 
berg, has probably never reflected, when congratu- 
lating itself upon a growth from 104,857 in 1880 to 
132,146 in 1890, that "old" Nuremberg, starting with 
only 99,519 in 1880 more than 5000 behind Provi- 
dence had increased to 142,523 in 1890, more than 
10,000 ahead of Providence. 

Doubtless the comparison begins to grow tedious ; 
but otherwise one might show Indianapolis, Allegheny, 
Columbus, Syracuse, Worcester, Toledo, Richmond, 
New Haven, Paterson, Lowell, Nashville, Scranton, 
Fall River, and all the rest, how their growth has 
been matched or perhaps surpassed by that of flourish- 
ing commercial and manufacturing towns of like size 
in Germany such towns as Elberfeld, Barmen, Stet- 
tin, Crefeld, Halle, Braunschweig, Dortmund, Mann- 
heim, Essen, and a dozen more. Some of the specific 
comparisons I have made might be somewhat affected 
on one side or the other if every annexation of suburbs 
were taken into account. But no such reckoning 
would change the general impression. And if the 
figures were revised to extend the comparison to the 
year 1895, the exhibition of swift growth in the Ger- 
man towns would appear still more remarkable. 

When one ventures to suggest that the American 
cities are meagerly provided with the best modern 
facilities, and make but a sorry show in comparison 
with European cities, there comes the unfailing reply 
that ours are in their infancy, while those of Europe 
are venerable with age and rich in the accumulations 
of a long realized maturity. The existence of old 
churches and castles, and of various monuments and 
collections illustrating the history of art, has given 
the impression that the European cities are old. But 
for the purposes of our discussion they are younger 


than their American counterparts. Their citizens are CHAP. v. 
not nearly as rich as those of our cities. They suf- 
fer under the disadvantage of loss in productive 
energy and wealth through the emigration of hun- 
dreds of thousands of their best young men after 
they have reared and educated them. They stagger 
under such heavy burdens of taxation and compul- 
sory service to maintain the military arm of the 
general government, that the tax increment which can 
be spared for municipal purposes comes with pain, Heavy bur- 

-i 11 i iiji dens of Euro- 

and is small compared with the revenues we can pea n cities. 
raise for local outlay in America, where taxes for 
national and State purposes are comparatively light. 
And yet, in the face of disadvantages far greater than 
any that we can present as excuses, the German cities 
have grappled with the new municipal problems of 
the last quarter of a century, and have solved them 
far more promptly and completely than the American 
cities have done. 

The physical transformation of these cities has 
been very remarkable. The ground-plan of the 
modern city is an essential consideration ; and there 
has been much reconstruction of old-time thorough- 
fares in the central districts of German cities, while 
the newer parts have been laid out with care and 
good judgment. The suburban tendency is the key tendencies, 
to recent municipal development everywhere. This 
tendency demands the distinct recognition of a series 
of main thoroughfares that shall make easy the 
movement of population to and from the business 
center. No such condition of things was recognized 
fifty years ago. All the German cities are now ad- 
justing their street systems. to the demands for quick 
transit. The usual American system is the simple 
checkerboard. The German system is a combination 
of the radial and concentric with the rectangular and 





Good road- 


Some Ameri- 
can com- 

Hanover as 
an instance. 

parallel; and it needs no argument to show that the 
combination system is by far the most convenient. 
Main thoroughfares in the German cities are to-day 
more conveniently planned and carried through than 
in most American cities. 

Good streets are to the modern town what the 
circulatory system is to a living organism. It is 
not necessaiy in Germany to argue that good road- 
ways are cheap at any cost, and that bad ones are 
so disastrously expensive that only a very rich coun- 
try like the United States can afford them. New 
York has begun to construct good pavements, but 
it lays them gradually and cautiously; and for the 
most part the existing pavements are wretched. 
Berlin adopted asphalt more than twenty years ago, 
and has been increasing its use year by year, though 
most of the city is paved with stone blocks. The 
maintenance of the streets in general is so much 
better than anything in America that comparisons 
are humiliating. There is no reason in the nature 
of things why the streets of Hanover, which are 
beautifully paved and kept, should be better than 
those of Jersey City or Newark, which cities are as 
large as Hanover, and as rich, though their streets are 
probably the meanest and forlornest in the whole 
civilized world. The Dresden streets are much su- 
perior to those of our one exceptional city, Washing- 
ton; and those of Hamburg, Munich, Leipsic, and 
most of the smaller German cities, are far better 
than those of American cities in general. 

I have mentioned Hanover because it is not in 
any wise an exceptional German city in the manner 
and completeness of its modern physical transfor- 
mation, and because it is one of the many places 
that travelers usually omit as uninteresting. It is 
comparable in size with Jersey City, Newark, Louis- 


ville, or Minneapolis. It typifies the spirit of pro- CHAP. v. 
gress and improvement now visible in nearly all the 
German towns. They are growing fast as railroad 
and manufacturing cities, and are developing a com- 
mendable degree of civic pride. The remaking of 
the snug, compact little hauptstadte (capital towns) 
of petty German principalities into modern industrial 
communities is a striking and a noteworthy process. 
Nearly every important place in Germany has at some 
time been the seat of government of an ambitious 
king, or prince, or margrave, or elector. The idea 
of the greater Germany has been completely trium- 
phant ; but these capital towns have gained more than 
they have lost. For many of them, however, it is 
now proving fortunate that the ridiculous little poten- The new 
tate had his day. His ambition often led him to pre- 
serve extensive private gardens and pleasure-grounds, 
to erect creditable palaces and public buildings, and 
to lay out at least a few broad and tree-lined avenues 
as supports of his dignity. Such public appoint- 
ments, now becoming municipalized, form valuable 
features of rapidly extending towns, and conduce 
greatly to the popular health, comfort, and pleasure. 
Even where the local potentate and his court sur- 
vive, an entirely new spirit is shown; and royal 
grounds, galleries, and avenues are treated as public 
rather than private possessions. 

In Hanover one is strongly impressed with this 
transformation of an old seat of government into a 
new railroad and manufacturing town. The old town 
remains almost intact, enveloped in a new town 
covering several times as large an area. A hand- 
some palace has been made over into one of the The modem 
largest and finest technical colleges in the world Hanover. 
an institution that ministers directly to the practical 
industrial life of the town. Ducal grounds are used 


CHAP. v. as municipal parks. Street-railway tracks run on 
splendid old avenues leading out to what were in 
earlier days the country or suburban residences of 
ruling families. The old business streets, with quaint, 
antiquated houses, are now paved with smooth new 
asphalt/ Just outside the town, on almost every side, 
are the tall stacks of new manufacturing establish- 
ments. New business streets have the freshness of 
an American city, with the advantages of evener and 
more becoming architecture, and of much better 
paving and cleansing. The people of Hanover now 
possess, as a community, many of the advantages 
that formerly belonged alone to the ruling family 
opportum- and court. They are a thoroughly modernized coin- 
ie ture? u munity. They enjoy admirable school advantages; 
they have access to public libraries containing several 
hundred thousand volumes; at their disposal for 
education or entertainment are picture- and sculpture- 
galleries, museums, and various other collections. 

The city has magnificent new water- works ; it owns 
fine central slaughter-houses and cattle-markets ; has 
Municipal convenient and well-inspected produce-markets ; pos- 
a nts. sesses a good modern sewer-system; owns disinfection 
establishments and epidemic hospitals; has a well- 
organized system of sanitary administration with in- 
spection corps ; is supplied with ordinary hospitals and 
institutions for the relief of poverty ; and, in short, 
maintains a full complement of the establishments 
and " plants w that pertain to the well-regulated city 
of this last decade of the nineteenth century. Its 
rules and municipal ordinances form a highly in- 
structive body of municipal literature.. The new 
building regulations, as revised in 1888, comprise a 
valuable code that brings every detail of construc- 
tion under strict rule and under the surveillance of 
the authorities. The code of street regulations, and 



that which has to do with protection against fire, are 
in like manner minute and important. Yet Hanover 
makes no pretensions whatever, and would assert no 
claim as a model or an exception. It is not rich, and 
the adaptation of old surviving buildings, grounds, 
and establishments has not saved any great sum of 
money, and does not account for the completeness 
of the existing appointments. Hanover has been 
modernized through the intelligent and wise appli- 
cation of business principles and methods to the con- 
duct of municipal housekeeping. 

Having recognized the significance and the value of 
the suburban tendency, the German cities are now 
undertaking to control the forms of their expansion, 
and to prevent errors that would require costly fu- 
ture remedies. Annexations of outlying territory are 
the order of the day. Since 1870 most of the German 
cities have widened their Bounds some of them very 
materially. Munich has annexed extensive suburbs, 
notably in 1890, with a further addition in 1892; 
Leipsic in 1889, 1890, and 1891 brought in large bod- 
ies of suburban population, and annexed territory 
which makes it three and a half times as large as it 
was before 1889. Dresden in 1892 and 1893 made 
material annexations. Cologne, which was one of the 
most congested and constricted of the German cities, 
is now, by virtue of its great acquisitions of 1888, 
much the largest of them all. Berlin, Munich, Ham- 
burg, and Frankfort are now of about equal area, 
averaging somewhere near 7000 hectares (the hectare 
being about two and one half acres), or from twenty- 
five to thirty square miles. Berlin will make very 
large acquisitions in the e.arly future, definite steps 
having already been taken to annex a wide suburban 
zone. Cologne's new boundaries include 11,000 hec- 
tares, and embrace much garden and farming land. 


A triumph of 
good govern- 

of suburbs. 


Berlin's pro- 
posed exten- 







and other 


Public con- 
trol of pri- 
vate build- 

dation for 

But the municipality will be enabled for purposes 
of the extension of the street, drainage, and transit 
systems, and the water and gas supplies, for park 
purposes, and for the regulation of building to con- 
trol from the outset an area surely destined to con- 
tain a large population. Magdeburg nearly doubled 
its area in 1886 and 1887. Hanover in 1891 and 1892 
extended its limits from seven square miles to about 
sixteen; and Altona, Chemnitz, Bremen, Karlsruhe, 
and other towns, have in recent years widened their 
precincts. The movement has, however, only fairly 
begun ; and the next ten years will almost certainly 
witness a development of superficies, and a distribu- 
tion of now congested population-masses, that will 
quite eclipse the achievements of the period 1870-90. 
The rapid growth of these German cities has been at- 
tended, of course, with much speculative building, and 
the laying out of divers new quarters by private com- 
panies. Berlin has been built up in this fashion, and 
Hamburg, Munich, Leipsic, Dresden, and the other 
large towns, all afford abundant examples. But the 
municipal authorities regulate in the severest fashion 
the arrangement and width of the new streets thus 
formed, require the best of paving, demand all that 
could be desired as to sewers, and govern the charac- 
ter of the buildings as to materials, height, street- 
lining, and general appearance. Thus the greed of 
speculators is not allowed to mar the harmonious de- 
velopment of the city, or to endanger its future 
health by bad construction and inferior sanitary ar- 

It is worth while to note, as regards the forms of 
German cities, that the municipal authorities fully 
recognize the vital importance of railways to a town's 
commercial prosperity, and understand that adequate 
and convenient terminal facilities both for passengers 


and for goods ought to be as fully considered by the CHAP. v. 

city government as the provision of proper thorough- 

fares for ordinary street-traffic. One of the most se- 

rious mistakes that our American cities have made is 

their failure to provide suitably for the entrance and AH essential 

exit of railroads, and for the central station and 

yard room that railway traffic requires. Even our 

newer cities have neglected this matter with a stupid- 

ity that is almost unaccountable in view of the fact 

that nowadays the one question of railway terminals 

often decides the commercial fate of a town. The 

European State railway systems are more fortunate 

than the English and American private systems in 

finding the towns disposed to grant the necessary fa- 

cilities for the transaction of their business. Leipsic, 

for instance, has become a great railway center, and 

one is impressed with the excellent judgment shown * a 

in the location of the extensive railroad yards, and of 
the factories, which lie on the outskirts of the town 
and have perfectly convenient shipping facilities. 
Stuttgart, also, affords an excellent instance of admi- 
rable central railway facilities. Terminal arrange- Atstuttgart. 
ments at Berlin are magnificent; and the whole 
movement of traffic, both freight and passenger, is 
facilitated to a remarkable degree by the stadfbahn or 
municipal railroad, crossing the city from east to At Berlin. 
west, and the ringbahn, an encircling railway operated 
in conjunction with the stadtbahii. These connect 
with all the lines that come to Berlin, and assist in the 
collection, distribution, and transfer of freightage. 

Furthermore, it is made a municipal function in 
Germany to utilize to the highest advantage any wa- waterways. 
ter-ways that a city may possess. Hambiirg is the 
most noteworthy instance. It lies at the head of 
tidal water, on the estuary of the Elbe, and it has had 
the enterprise, at vast expense, within the past decade 





harbor and 


Berlin's util- 
ization of 
the Spree. 

Dresden and 
the Elbe. 

The struc- 
ture of mu- 
nicipal gov- 

to create the finest harbor and dock facilities in the 
whole world. The docks are provided with a net- 
work of railway tracks and splendid public storage- 
houses, and thus the highways for the accommoda- 
tion of the larger traffic of the ocean-going ships 
are as perfect as those for ordinary street-traffic. 
And the city is directly or indirectly a very great 
gainer from these splendid public works. At Berlin, 
the most casual observer can hardly fail to notice the 
marvelous use that is made for purposes of commer- 
cial navigation of the narrow river Spree. It has 
been well dredged out, is held in a controllable chan- 
nel by magnificent stone embankments extending for 
a number of miles on both sides of the river, and has, 
below the high quays, broad and convenient stone 
landings all along the water-edge. The quantity of 
freight barged at cheap rates from point to point in 
the city by means of the Spree is enormous ; and the 
city streets are thus greatly relieved. Moreover, the 
Spree connects with a system of canals penetrating 
the country in every direction, and carrying enor- 
mous quantities of heavy ware such as building ma- 
terials. Dresden in a similar manner derives large 
service from the Elbe ; and the German cities in gen- 
eral have not spared expenditure to make their rivers 
or other navigable water-courses a well-utilized part 
of the arrangements for the convenient passage of 
persons and traffic. 

Although the framework and general structure of 
the municipal house are not of absolutely vital conse- 
quence to good housekeeping, they have a very con- 
siderable importance. It happens that the Germans 
care less than the French for a modern and regular 
system one that shall conform to geometrical rules 
and harmonize with a philosophical ideal. In the 
United States the reformers have doubtless at times 


lost sight of the aims and objects of government in CHAP. v. 
striving after good government as an end in itself. 
Their attention has been devoted to the structure and 
mechanism, and, so far as the cities are concerned, 
they keep changing it perpetually. They are forever 
overhauling, repairing, or reconstructing the house, 
without seeming to have many attractive or inspiring 
uses for which they are eager to make the house ready. 
The Germans of our generation, on the other hand, a means 

-I , i . i T -i * T o -j / rather than 

have taken their old framework of city government an end. 
as they found it, and have proceeded to use it for 
new and wonderful purposes, altering it somewhat 
from time to time, but not allowing its defects to par- 
alyze the varied activities of the household. 

The different States of Germany Prussia, Saxony, 
Bavaria, Wurtemberg, Baden, and the rest have their 
distinct municipal systems, prescribed by general law. The neral 
Variations of detail are numerous and marked j yet law - 
the systems of the principal States are essentially sim- 
ilar. The Prussian laws providing for municipal gov- 
ernment are a part of the great administrative scheme 
established in the legislation of Stein and Harden- 
berg early in the century. Many changes have been 
made, but the municipal constitutions of Prussia re- stein's Pms- 

. . n i n i j i , , i i n sian reforms 

main in their chief characteristics what the law of ofisos. 
1808 made them. Through the previous century it 
had been the Prussian policy to sink the indepen- 
dence and individuality of the gemeinden, the munici- 
palities, in the absolutism of the State ; and to go so 
far even as to treat old municipal property as belong- 
ing to the State at large. The towns had practically 
no freedom in the management of their own local es- 
tablishments and institutions. 

But all this was changed in the legislation of 1808. 
As in the French municipal laws of 1789-90, the mu- 
nicipalities were recognized as ancient units of gov- 



The system 

CHAP. v. eminent, organic entities, with their own properties 
and functions, and with the right of entire self-gov- 
ernment within the sphere of their strictly local and 
neighborhood concerns. They were given elective 
assemblies, or councils, and an executive body, or 
magistracy, composed of a burgomaster and a num- 
ber of associated magistrates ; the burgomaster 
(mayor) and his executive corps (magistrats-mitglie- 
der) being chosen by the popularly elected council 
(gemeinderath), and given the complete charge of ad- 
ministrative work. The system was from time to 
time extended to the provinces that Prussia absorbed. 
In its general principles, moreover, it was incorporated 
in the laws of the other kingdoms and principalities 
that with Prussia now make up the German empire. 
In Prussia, as in England, local self-government on 
the plan of elective councils was granted to the large 
towns as municipal corporations long before anything 
similar was devised either for rural districts or for 
provinces. But in the period 1872-84 the administra- 
tive system of Prussia was reconstructed. There is a 
new and comparatively regular series of provinces, 
districts, and " circles," which divisions are analogous 
to French departments, arrondissements, and cantons. 
In each division there are administrative officers re- 
presenting the central government and executing the 
national laws, while there are also elective councils 
with their standing committees or magistracies to at- 
tend to the strictly local affairs of the provinces, dis- 
tricts, and circles in accordance with the now accepted 
doctrines of self-government. The circle consists of 
a group of rural hamlets and villages; but every 
town of 25,000 people or more is distinct and consti- 
tutes in itself an " urban circle." Throughout the en- 
tire system, which is far more complicated in its 
details than the French, there is manifested the de- 


of local 
in Prussia. 



termination to stimulate local progress and to bring 
the best ability everywhere into some form of partici- 
pation in the work of government. 1 

It would not have been possible in the Germany of 
Stein and of Frederick William III. to establish re- 
presentative institutions upon a basis of popular equal- 
ity. The Prussian system emphasized the property 
qualification ; and that system remains to-day. The 
voters are those who pay certain kinds of taxes above 
a minimum amount, and this restriction excludes per- 
haps ten or fifteen per cent, of the men of voting age. 
The electoral system is somewhat complicated. A 
city Berlin, for instance is laid off in a number 
of electoral districts. The voters are listed in the or- 
der of the sums they pay for taxes, with the heaviest 
tax-payer heading the list. They are then divided 
into three classes, each of which has paid one third of 
the aggregate amount. Thus, the first class will con- 
tain a group of very heavy tax-payers, the second 
will be made up of a much larger number of men of 
moderate fortune and income, and the third class will 
comprise the great mass of workingmen and small 
tax-payers. Each class in a given district elects a 
member of the gemeinderath, or town council. 

In large parts of the German empire the class 
system is not maintained. The Berlin system is, how- 
ever, the most prevalently typical for Germany at 
large. At a recent Berlin election (1893) held in one 
third of the districts, for the renewal of one third 
of the council, there were registered as qualified 
voters 111,637 men, of whom 2045 were in the first 
class, 13,049 in the second, and 96,543 in the third. 

i An excellent account of the system of provincial and local 
government in Prussia, by Professor F. J. Goodnow, was pub- 
lished in the " Political Science Quarterly * for December, 1889, 
and March, 1890. 



A Berlin 



Essen as an 

CHAP. v. It happened that of these classes 976, 4858, and 
25,596 actually appeared at the polls considerably 
less than one third of those empowered to vote. The 
first-class voters participated in the highest propor- 
tion. But each class chooses its third of the munici- 
pal council, regardless of the force it musters on 
election day. An extreme instance of the prepon- 
derance that this system gives to wealth is afforded 
by the manufacturing city of Essen, where in a pop- 
ulation approaching 100,000 there is a mere hand- 
ful of persons who pay one third of all the taxes, 
and are therefore empowered to designate one third 
of the councilors. The Krupp gun-works form the 
great industry of Essen, and at a recent municipal 
election one voter appeared for the first class and 
counted for quite as much as the nearly two thou- 
sand men who appeared for the third class. The 
statistics of a still later election at Essen show that 
4 men belonged to the first class, 353 to the second, 
and 12,197 to the third, and that 2, 243, and 5367 
actually voted in the three classes. In the cities of 
Saxony, Bavaria, and Wiirtemberg, the three-class 
system is not in vogue; but there are considerable 
restrictions upon the franchise. 

So far as the voters are concerned, whether in 
Berlin, Breslau, Cologne, Magdeburg, and the other 
cities where the class system remains, or in Stuttgart, 
Munich, Leipsic, or in any of the cities where there 
The nmnici- are no discriminations introduced among the enfran- 
chised,, their one task is the selection of a good mu- 
nicipal council. Everything in the life of the gemeinde 
revolves about this one central body. It finds the 
burgomaster, designates his expert associates of the 
magisterial coterie, supplies the means for carrying 
on the city government, and represents in its own 
enlightenment, ability, and aspirations the standard 

pal council 
as the cen- 
tral fact. 


and the character of the community's progress. It CHAP. v. 
is to this body that one must go to discover the 
secret of the consistency and continuity of German 
municipal policy. Much of the detail of the organi- 
zation and method of German city government would 
only appear tedious and cumbersome if an attempt 
were made to describe it all. But I must beg per- 
mission to make as emphatic as possible this funda- 
mental point, that such city government has its focus 
in the elected municipal council. However peculiar 
in a hundred details the German system may be, it is TWS m com- 
like the English and the French systems in the main English knd 

,,,,,, , T , ... French sys- 

fact that the voters elect a representative common terns. 
council, of considerable size and sitting in one cham- 
ber, which has in its hands for exercise directly or 
indirectly the whole authority that exists in the mu- 
nicipality. It is a body large enough to contain men 
of various opinions, and it acts openly, with full re- 

Stability in the German municipal councils is se- 
cured by partial renewal. Thus the councilors of 
Berlin and the Prussian cities are elected for six 

years, and one third of the seats are vacated and tenna, 

97 ' newal by 

refilled every two years. In Berlin there are forty- think. 
two electoral districts, and these are arranged in three 
groups of fourteen each. Each group elects its coun- 
cilors in its turn. Thus group I. chose its forty-two 
councilors in 1889, group II. had its turn in 1891, 
and group III. renewed its representation in 1893. 
Bach district elects three councilors, corresponding 
to the three classes of voters, and thus each group 
contributes forty-two to a total elective council of 
126 members. Taking the German cities in general, 
the most usual period for which councilors are elected 
is six years, with the plan of renewal in three instal- 

ments. But Strassburg and Metz retain the French 




terms in 

plan in 

Size of 




In the Ger- 
man cities. 

A matter of 


system of entire renewal at each election, their pe- 
riod being five years. Munich, Nuremberg, and 
the Bavarian towns, on the other hand, give their 
councilors nine-year terms, and renew one third of 
the body every three years. Dresden, Chemnitz, 
and other Saxon towns are like the English muni- 
cipalities in giving councilors three-year terms 
with annual renewals of one third the member- 
ship; and Stuttgart renews one half of its coun- 
cil every year. But the six-year term is most 
prevalent, and most characteristic of the German 

European cities all the way from Scotland to Hun- 
gary would seem to have arrived by somewhat in- 
dependent processes at similar conclusions as to the 
advantageous size of the popular municipal body. 
Thus the great capitals have found a body of a hun- 
dred members, more or less, a convenient size. The 
London county council has 138 members, the Berlin 
council 126, the Paris council 80 with prospect of 
enlargement to more than 100, and the new Vienna 
council has 138. Large commercial towns, or minor 
capitals, find a body of from 40 to 60 men the most 
satisfactory. Such is the size of the councils of the 
great British towns, and of the principal French and 
Italian cities. Making comparison with Germany, 
we find that Munich and Leipsic have councils of 60 
members, Dresden one of 72, Breslau a body of about 
100, Cologne one of 45, Frankfort one of 57, Mag- 
deburg of 72, Chemnitz of 48, Strassburg of 36, Al- 
tona of 35, and Stuttgart of only 25, The average 
for all German cities, taking a list of forty of the most 
important ones, would be a municipal council of about 
fifty members. This is not a matter of minor detail, 
nor do I adduce it from a mere fondness for the 
statistical. In constituting our American State legis- 



latures we have shown some grasp of the question 
how large to make the representative bodies ; but in 
forming our American city governments we have 
been utterly at sea, and have produced results of the 
most whimsical and bewildering variety. European 
conclusions need not be accepted as a guide, but they 
may on the other hand be usefully noted for pur- 
poses of comparison. 

Municipal councilors in Germany are, as a rule, 
very excellent citizens. It is considered a high honor 
to be elected to the council. Membership is a title 
of dignity that merchants, professional men, and 
scholars are usually eager to hold. No salaries are 
paid to the councilors, and a penalty is attached to 
refusal to serve if elected. The sentiment toward 
these positions is much the same in Germany as in 
Great Britain, though stronger with men of high 
education in the German than in the British towns. 
The reelection of good councilors term after term 
is common in both countries. It would be difficult 
to estimate fairly the influence of the class system 
in Prussia upon the character of city councils as re- 
gards their conservatism, intelligence, and business 
ability. Undoubtedly the recent growth of the social 
democracy would have a sharper influence upon the 
city councils if the class system were abolished, and 
if the municipal franchise were made identical with 
the simple manhood suffrage that exists for pur- 
poses of representation in the imperial legislature, 
the Reichstag. Thus in France, with universal suf- 
frage, the socialists have of late been entering mu- 
nicipal politics with much zeal, in pursuance of the 
plan of an increased communal activity for the bene- 
fit of the masses. Already the German cities would 
appear from the viewpoint of other countries to be 
far advanced in socialistic undertakings ; yet it must 


High char- 

acter of 

Influence of 
the class 

and the ' 




A thrifty 
burgher col- 


in the 

In Saxony 
an equal 

Reasons for 
this require- 

and special- 
ists in the 

not be forgotten that the municipal ideals of a thrifty 
burgher collectivism and those of the social democ- 
racy in German cities, may tend as far asunder as 
those of the bourgeoisie and the proletariate in Prance. 
As yet the German city governments are in the hands 
of the educated and thrifty classes. What social 
overturning will some day give these splendid busi- 
ness machines into the keeping of the working-classes 
is a speculative topic that may be suggested here, 
but need not be discussed. 

The characteristics, to some extent, of German city 
councils may be inferred from the number of real- 
estate proprietors in them. It is common to require 
that a certain proportion at least shall be house- 
owners. In Berlin about three fourths of the coun- 
cilors are proprietors, and in Breslau nearly as many. 
In Frankfort, Hanover, Diisseldorf , Nuremberg, and 
many of the smaller cities, the house-owners are 
eighty or ninety per cent, of the total number of 
councilors. But in the Saxon cities, as Leipsic, 
Dresden, and Chemnitz, and in a few others elsewhere, 
existing laws require that one half the councilors 
shall be house-owners, and that one half shall not bo. 
This provision is supposed to protect property in- 
terests in a group of cities which, as I have already 
explained, do not give any excess of representation 
to propertied voters under a class system. The great 
mass of citizens are of course renters of apartments 
in "flat"- or tenement-houses, and they are assured 
a full half of the municipal council that has to ad- 
Just taxation, and must of necessity determine ques- 
tions in which the interests of the occupying and the 
owning classes would seem to differ. The presence 
of men eminent for scientific, economic, or other 
expert knowledge is another of the characteristics 
of the German councils. Thus the Berlin body, as 


those of other university cities, contains more than CHAP. v. 
one learned professor whose influence is strongly felt 
in some important line of policy or department of 
administration. The councils form themselves into 
standing committees for working purposes, and 
choose one of their own members as presiding officer, 
and another as his deputy although in Cologne, 
Diisseldorf, Elberfeld, and some other places, the 
chief burgomaster is brought in as the chairman of 
the council. 

In addition to the magistracy and the council, there 
is in Berlin a body of about seventy-five so-called 
"citizen deputies," who are selected by the council 
for their general fitness to serve as associates on com- 
mittees charged with the oversight of various muni- 
cipal interests, such as parks, schools, the care of the 
poor, and the sanitary services. They have no au- 
thority to vote in the council, but they illustrate, at 
the center of administration, the excellent practice, 
which is followed throughout the entire ramification cooperation. 
of German city government, of enlisting the coopera- 
tion of unofficial citizens in managing the ordinary 
concerns of the community. 

The burgomaster and magistrates are the most 
highly trained experts that a German city can secure. 
The burgomaster is an expert in the general art of Burgomaster 

*i -i j j A , ~i n i and inagis- 

municipal administration. Associated with him in irate!, 
the magisterial council are experts in law, experts in 
finance, experts in education to administer the schools, 
experts in engineering to oversee public works of 
every character, experts in sanitary science, experts 
in public charity, experts in forestry and park man- 
agement, experts in the technical and business man- 
agement of water and gas supplies, and so on. The 
analogy would be far from perfect, but it would an- 
swer roughly to compare the governmental structure 


CHAP. v. of a German city with that of a railway corporation, 
compared i n which the board of directors, chosen by the stock- 

with organ i- * * 

zationota holders, appoint a general superintendent or man- 
ager, a general passenger agent, a general freight 

agent, a chief legal officer, a chief engineer, a superin- 
tendent of motive power, and other general officers, 
and leave to these highly salaried experts, promoted 
from inferior places or drawn from the service of va- 
rious other transportation companies, almost the en- 
tire management and operation of the road. The 
shareholders represent the voters of Berlin, let us 
say; the board of directors are the municipal council ; 
the general superintendent is the chief burgomaster ; 
and the general officers at the head of departments 
are the magistrates. 

The magistratsrath or stadtrath of a German city is, 

then, a body of distinguished and honored, highly 

paid, professional, expert employees, and not a body 

s are of citizen-representatives ; although experienced mem- 

proiessional , ., * , ... , .. .. 

experts, bers of the body of citizen-representatives may be 
and not infrequently are promoted to membership 
in the magistratsrath. The professional civil service 
is a vastly greater and better-established field of em- 
ployment in Germany than in England or America, 
and it is particularly difficult for an American to ap- 
preciate its position and significance. The mayor of 
B omaster an A jner i can wty * s usually some well-known citizen, 
withAmerf ca ^ e ^ > temporarily from private life to occupy the 
can mayor, most authoritative place in the corporation. The 
burgomaster of a German city is a civil servant 
the permanent head of a permanent body of trained 
officials. The difference between the two is some- 
what like that between our secretary of war and the 
general commanding the army. I have alluded to 
possible changes in the spirit and the objects of Ger- 
man city governments when the workingmen shall 


have become dominant at the polls. But I do not be- CHAP. v. 
lieve that there is any likelihood whatsoever of a 
change in what we may call the method, as distin- Methodsand 
guished from the motive, of administration. That is motives. 
to say, whatever may be the political or class com- 
plexion of the citizens' representative council, that 
body will continue to employ experts on the principle 
of a permanent civil service to carry out its plans. 
We may deprecate German officialism as much as we 
like ; but the Germans will not cease to manage the 
business affairs of their municipal corporations 
through the employment of a trained, professional 
service, until American railway corporations cease to 
seek the best technical and expert talent, whether in 
administration or in engineering, to carry on their 

It may be useful to note some points of difference 
and resemblance between the German, English, and comparison 
French systems of executive government in cities. 

The English have a single, central elective council, to systems. 
which the councilors themselves add aldermen, in the 
proportion of one sixth of their own number. These 
aldermen are, almost always, ordinary councilors who 
have served for several terms, and have become es- 
pecially useful on account of their experience. They 
have no different functions from councilors, but hold 
their terms for six instead of three years, and are 
very commonly made chairmen of standing commit- Resume of 
tees. The mayor is designated by the council for one 
year, and he is usually an alderman, his duty being 
simply that of presiding officer and titular head of 
the corporation. He serves on committees like other 
members of the council, and when his " year in the 
chair" is at an end, he resumes his place on the floor. 
There is a standing committee for each important 
branch of the municipal service, and this committee 


CHAP. v. selects (subject to confirmation by the full council) a 
permanent, expert chief of the department, who organ- 
izes it in detail, and superintends its operation. Thus, 
besides a permanent staff of high general officials, such 
as the town clerk, the borough engineer, and the med- 
ical health officer, there will be a superintendent of 
water supply, a chief of the fire department, a chief 
sanitary officer, a chief of police, and various others. 
These experts will have been secured upon their pure 
merits, often from distant cities. The system works 
very satisfactorily. The expert chiefs are in constant 
touch with the chairmen of their supervising council 
committees, and always attend committee meetings. 
The whole municipal service is held in coordination 
through reports made to the full council by the com- 
mittees. The council thus meets very frequently, and 
a large amount of labor is entailed upon the chair- 
men of committees. 

The French system is quite different. The elected 
municipal council designate the mayor from their 
Resume of own number, and also appoint from their own body 
system. 6 a group of their most experienced members to serve 
as his " adjuncts," and to form with him a corps ex- 
evutif. The mayor, in turn, assigns to each of these 
adjuncts the supervision of a department of the mu- 
nicipal service. A number of ordinary members of the 
council are then grouped around each such chairman, 
as his consulting committee, but the mayor is the 
controlling spirit in the total executive administra- 
tion. Under him and his executive corps the expert 
civil service is organized ; and while the full council 
holds comparatively few stated meetings in the year, 
the executive corps is in very frequent session, and 
the departmental business is thus kept in harmonious 
Now the German magistratsrath is the glorification 



of the expert chiefs of departments that one finds in 
the English system. It may be regarded as a fusing 
into one supreme executive group of these professional 
and salaried experts and the level-headed old chair- 
men of council committees. This statement will be 
the better understood when the structure of the magis- 
tratsrath is still further analyzed. The Berlin magis- 
tracy is composed of thirty-four members, including 
the chief burgomaster (oberbiirgermeister) and his sub- 
stitute and next in authority, the second burgomaster. 
Of this body, seventeen are salaried and are appointed 
for twelve-year terms, and seventeen are unpaid, and 
are chosen for six-year terms. The salaried men, in- 
cluding the mayor and deputy-mayor, are selected for 
their expert qualifications exactly as a board of rail- 
way directors would make up its staff of general offi- 
cers. They come from the civil service of other Ger- 
man cities, where they have made a record, or from 
the departments of the royal Prussian service, from 
which the higher salaries paid by the city tempt the 
best and most ambitious men. The paid element in 
the magistracy includes legal officers, the city trea- 
surer, architects, civil engineers, school administrators, 
and other experts. It is perfectly understood that 
these men, including the mayor, will be reappointed 
at the end of their terms ; and their tenure is practi- 
cally for life, unless they forfeit their positions by their 
own misconduct. The seventeen unpaid magistrates 
may be said to represent the highest development of 
non-professional experience and skill in municipal af- 
fairs. They have some resemblance to the aldermanic 
element in the English councils, or to the chairmen 
of English council committees. They have in most 
cases served efficiently as members of the elected mu- 
nicipal council, and are citizens with sufficient leisure 
and* means to devote their time to the service of the 


The German 

Analysis of 



of tenure. 

The unpaid 


CHAP. v. city, from the motive of public spirit mingled with 
that of satisfaction in the honor of high position. For 
these posts are held in the highest esteem ; and the 
men appointed to them are often the equals of their 
salaried associates in administrative or even in scien- 
tific and technical qualifications. These unpaid places 

position and are B ^ BO P rac ti ca lty permanent, the incumbents being 
duties, usually reappointed, term after term. Sometimes va- 
cancies in the salaried places are filled by the transfer 
of men from the unsalaried element of the magistracy. 
Naturally the most confining and arduous duties of 
administration are usually assigned to the paid magis- 
trates, while the unpaid men serve in capacities more 
advisory than severely executive; yet it often hap- 
pens that the unpaid members assume full charge of 
very important departments of the public service. It 
is important to bear in mind that the distinguished 

P rS52S 8 tS MP citizens appointed as unpaid magistrates must serve 
serve. or at } east -fr^f ^&r six-year term, or else suffer se- 
rious pains, penalties, and disabilities. 

The mayor or head of the municipality in some 
cities called the oberbiirgermeister and in some simply 

Burgomas- ^ e k^g 6 1 ^^ is the general manager of the 

thefarftuc w ^^ e mechanism of administration, and usually the 
tions. guiding spirit as well in the economic policies of 
the municipality. He may feel that success in the man- 
agement of a smaller city will perhaps be rewarded 
by the prize of the mayoralty of a greater one. Thus 
A case of ^ e ^ r ' ^ orc keiibeck, mayor of Berlin, had made 

promotion, his reputation as mayor of Breslau, and was called to 
fill a vacancy in the same position at the capital. On 
his death in 1892, the very successful mayor of Dan- 
tzic was prominently mentioned for the vacant post ; 
but Dr. Zelle of the Berlin magistracy was promoted. 
Many cities appoint their mayors for life, and some 
make a trial appointment for a term of years and then 



grant a life lease. Thus the mayors of Munich, Leip- 
sic, Dresden, Hanover, Stuttgart, Chemnitz, and va- 
rious smaller cities, are life incumbents ; while those 
of Berlin, Breslau, Cologne, Magdeburg, Frankfort, 

TJT.. i T\- ij -is j j/i i 

Konigsberg, Dusseldorf, and numerous other places, 
are appointed for twelve-year terms. Strassburg, 
Metz, and the Alsace-Lorraine towns, on the other 
hand, grant only five-year terms, following French 
rather than German modes of city organization, and 
keeping the French system of 1870. 

The tenure of the paid magistrates in general fol- 
lows that of the mayors, and the cities which give 
life appointments to the chief of the municipality 
commonly give them also to the expert professional 
element among his associates, while limiting the un- 
paid magistrates to terms corresponding with those 
of the popularly elected councilors. Duties are so 
well distributed among the magistrates that there 
results the highest type of executive efficiency, and 
the least possible friction or waste of energy. New 
departments of administration may either be assigned 
to the portfolios of existing magistrates, or may be 
provided for by the appointment of additional mem- 
bers. Thus the magistratsrath is sufficiently flexible 
to respond to the changing circumstances of a city, 
and the presence of its unsalaried citizen members 
keeps it always sufficiently in touch with the spirit 
of the community. Magistrates and councilors serve 
together on standing committees. It should further 
be said that in the details of administration the mag- 
istrates have the cooperation in various ways, to 
which further allusion will be made, of numerous 
unofficial citizens serving in a voluntary or honorary 
capacity on countless sub-committees. 

Nearly all the cities in Germany, great and small, 
maintain the plan of a magisterial council composed 

CHAP. v. 
Life appoint- 


Tenure of 
pai tratesf s 

m serve to- 




Paid and un- 
paid magis- 
trates in va- 
rious cities. 

The Stutt- 
gart plan. 

Why salaries 
are small. 

The pay of 


of paid and unpaid members. In Dresden 14 are paid 
and 18 are unpaid. The 14 have been very largely 
drawn from the service of other and smaller cities, 
while the 18 have been promoted to the magistracy 
after valuable service in the elected council. Leipsic 
has 12 paid and 15 unpaid magistrates, Munich 16 
and 20 respectively, Breslau 11 and 13, Frankfort 9 
and 8, Hanover 8 and 9, Nuremberg 9 and 17, Chem- 
nitz 9 and 16. In many of the smaller cities the un- 
paid members predominate largely. Stuttgart pays 
its mayor alone, and appoints all its other magistrates 
from its own public-spirited citizens, who give their 
services freely. But it is a marked exception to the 
rule, its magistrates having in fact the character of 
the French " adjuncts." 

Civil-service salaries in general are very small in 
Germany, for the reasons that positions arc perma- 
nent, pensions are given to retiring officials, and such 
posts are considered socially desirable and are much 
sought after. Comparatively, therefore, the pay of 
burgomasters and magistrates is considered very 
large by the German official class. The mayor of 
Berlin receives 30,000 marks ($7500), and the salaries 
of other German mayors range from that figure down 
to about 10,000 marks ($2500). The deputy-burgo- 
master has the next highest salary 18,000 marks in 
Berlin, and from 6000 to 12,000 in other cities. The 
average pay of the Berlin magistrates is about 12,500 
marks, while, if one should average a hundred or 
more German towns, great and small, the current 
yearly pay of this class of expert officials would be 
found to be about 6000 marks ($1500). Such remuner- 
ation is tempting enough to give the cities an abun- 
dant supply of trained talent from the universities 
and technical schools, and from the various lines of 
State service. Under the mayor and magistrates are 



the numerous officials, of all grades and ranks, who 
constitute the membership of the municipal civil ser- 
vice, and who are trained men in their respective 

The police authority in Germany is retained as a 
function of the State, and is usually exercised under 
the supervision of administrative officers who repre- 
sent the higher authority rather than the purely local 
interests. The cost of the police in large cities is as 
a rule borne chiefly by the State, although in some 
places it is shared by the municipalities. In Berlin 
the city authorities maintain a force of night watch- 
men ;, but the general police organization belongs to 
the royal Prussian service. Opinion in Germany is 
divided upon the question whether the ordinary po- 
lice administration should be made over to the mu- 
nicipal governments or separately maintained by the 
State. Many active friends of the municipal regime 
prefer that the police system should remain on a quasi- 
military footing, under control of the political power. 
In practice it appears an easy matter for the munici- 
pal and police authorities to keep a good understand- 
ing and work together harmoniously. It is the German 
fashion to exercise an extremely minute police over- 
sight. The entire population is enrolled upon the 
police registers, and the comings and goings are ob- 
served and recorded. In many German cities the an- 
nual directories are published and sold by the police 
authorities, their central office necessarily possessing 
all the names and facts required for the compilation 
of a directory. Private guests from outside the city, 
as well as hotel arrivals, must be reported at police 
headquarters, with an amount of information of a 
strictly personal nature that American or English 
travelers always find amusing. 

Such, then, is the framework and structure of the 





The question 
of full 





in German 


CHAP.V. German municipality. It meets the demands made 
upon it. The German mind has a clear conception 
of the municipality as an organization for business 
and social ends, and of the municipal government as 
a mechanism for the accomplishment of those ends. 
" Officialism," so-called, expert and highly organized, 
results inevitably. I am not advocating the introdttc- 

. - , ~ n AO T j 

tion of the German type of officialism into our 
American city life. And, indeed, I have no desire in 
these chapters to hold any argument with those who 
do not believe in the development, for America, of a 
permanent, skilled, non-political body of city officials. 
My present object is to make comparison easier. For 
my own part, I see no possible reason why, having 
city business to do, we should be unwilling to have 
it performed in as business-like a manner as we 
should demand in the conduct of a private enter- 
prise. Nor do I see how an acceptance of the idea 
that the municipal corporation exists for the conduct 
of a series of business and social enterprises can 
comport with the rejection of the idea of a perma- 
nent, expert body of administrators, that is to say, 
a somewhat highly developed officialism. However, 
Believed by it is to be remembered that in Germany the perf unc- 
tory tendencies of officialism are much diminished by 
^ e pl&n of enlisting the services of thousands of non- 
official citizens in the oversight of the schools, the dis- 
tribution of charitable relief, and other municipal un- 
dertakings, together with the custom of placing the 
ablest and wisest citizens in the town council or in 
the magistracy. 



THE practical management of German cities pro- 
ceeds in harmony with the German conception 
of the municipality as a social organism. Such a con- 
ception has metaphysical aspects; but with theories 
and philosophies we need not concern ourselves for 
present purposes. It is enough for us to understand 
that in Germany the community, organized centrally 
and officially, is a far more positive factor in the life 
of the family or the individual than in America. The 
German municipal government is not a thing apart, 
but is vitally identified with every concern of the 
municipality ; and the municipality is the aggregation 
of human beings and human interests included within 
the territorial boundaries that fix the community's 
area and jurisdiction. There are, in the German con- 
ception of city government, no limits whatever to the NO limits t< 
municipal functions. It is the business of the munici- fSnctfo. 
pality to promote in every feasible way its own wel- 
fare and the welfare of its citizens. This conception 
must be carefully distinguished from socialism, with 
which it is not necessarily in harmony. 

A concrete illustration will perhaps help to make 
the difference clear. In 1893 the municipal govern- 
ment of Stuttgart decided that the city should con- An niustra- 
struct, own, and operate electric-lighting works. An stuttgart! 
investigating committee had reported in favor of giv- 





Not a 

question of 

Why Stutt- 
gart muni- 


gas had been 



ing a franchise for a term of years to a private com- 
pany. The question was decided adversely to the 
committee's report by a vote of 13 to 12 in the coun- 
cil of magistrates. It was purely a question of busi- 
ness judgment. Socialism would have demanded 
municipal ownership and operation because socialism 
is at war with private capital. But the Stuttgart 
council was dealing with a question of practical 
finance, on behalf of the community. Half of the 
council firmly held that for ten years or more, in the 
developing and experimental stages of electricity in 
Stuttgart, the new illuminant not being as yet an 
article of common necessity and demand, it would 
be a better business policy to allow a private company 
to establish the lighting plant, the city carefully re- 
serving the right, after a short period, to supersede 
the private company on reasonable terms of purchase. 
Twelve men out of twenty-five adhered to this view 
to the end. If the question had presented itself sin- 
gly, on its sole merits, a decisive majority would have 
favored the plan of private ownership. 

But let me explain the circumstances which secured 
the contrary decision. Stuttgart was one of the very 
few German cities which had not made the manu- 
facture and sale of gas a municipal monopoly. In the 
early future, however, as was fully agreed, the munici- 
pal council was to buy out the existing gas company 
and go into the business. Gas is an article of common 
necessity ; it is in its nature an article that is subject 
to monopoly control ; for street purposes the munici- 
pality was already a very large consumer ; the gas busi- 
ness is beyond the experimental stages ; in Germany 
it has been demonstrably profitable for cities to make 
the gas-supply a municipal monopoly. Stuttgart, 
therefore, had already decided to " municipalize " the 
gas-works at the end of the franchise soon to expire. 


But to charter a private company to control electric- CHAP. vi. 
lighting just as the city was about to assume gas- 
lighting as a public monopoly, might involve rivalries 
that would be embarrassing and vexatious. The fact 
of having the gas monopoly would make it more 
likely that the city could manage electrical works in 
conjunction without much financial risk or danger. 
Obviously, there was considerable force in this argu- 
ment. And there was still another consideration in 
favor of a municipal electrical monopoly. The Street 
Railway Company of Stuttgart had for some time 
desired permission to change its motive-power from 
horses to electricity, with the overhead-trolley system. 
Stuttgart is not a large city, and the objection to the 
trolley on the score of danger was not very well 
founded. The company was willing to become a cus- 
tomer of the municipal electric power and lighting tome? ready. 
plant, at a fair price that was agreed upon, for all 
the electricity it should need; and the assurance of 
this large and regular patronage would lessen the 
speculative risk involved in entering upon the busi- 
ness of electrical supply as a municipal undertaking. 
So much for the facts ; a word as to their bearing 
upon the German conception of municipal functions. 
So far as I am aware, the theories of socialism did not 
materially influence either group in the Stuttgart coun- 
cil. The inquirer who has been led to suppose that he 
will find in the German cities a consistent, highly-de. 
veloped collectivism, carried into practice in the spirit 
of opposition to private initiative, will hardly be able spirit of 
to find all that he expected. He will certainly find a 
great many interesting and successful instances of 
municipal activity in fields that are abandoned al- 
most wholly to private enterprise in our American 
cities. But he would scarcely be able to report that 

he found these things done on doctrinaire grounds. 



CHAP. vi. The municipality holds itself deeply and supremely 
responsible for its own welfare. Half of the Stutt- 
gart council thought that the welfare of the commu- 
nity, considered as an organic whole, would be better 
and more economically served, so far as the introduc- 
tion of applied electricity is concerned, if a private 
company were authorized; to undertake the business, 
under municipal regulation and oversight. Is it not 
plain that with this spirit and with this conception of 
the municipal responsibility it would not have mat- 
Nothing tered seriously which way the question was decided ? 

vital in the XT ., i , 

issue. No councilors were accused of a corrupt or improper 
zeal for any private company that was seeking a fran- 
chise. If a franchise had been granted, it would have 
been given on strict business principles. The munici- 
Municipai pality would have dominated the question of eleetri- 
either g case. n cal supply, in either case. The citizens would not 
have been thrown upon the mercy of a private com- 
pany exercising a monopoly control ; for the munici- 
pality itself, acting steadily and constantly through 
its official organs, would have stood between the citi- 
zens and the supply company, regulating and control- 
ling in the common interest. 

Stuttgart has been rather a laggard than a pioneer 
among German cities in the matter of productive mu- 
nicipal enterprises, and it is by mere chance that I 
have adduced it for purposes of illustration. We 
may, however, find it worth while to dwell a moment 
longer at the pleasant capital of Wurtemberg. To 
assume the gas-supply, and to enter upon the monop- 
oly control of electric light and power, will mark a 
long step in the local development of the municipal 
business functions. In due course, the Street Rail- 
way Company's franchise will expire. Stuttgart's 
Future municipal plant will have furnished the supply of elec- 
trical power, and passenger transit in German cities 



will have attained an importance far greater than it 
now possesses. We shall then see the Stuttgart 
council investigating with patient care and scientific 
skill the experience of other cities in the management 
of street-railways; and we need not be surprised if 
the decision should be in favor of municipal owner- 
ship and direct operation. This further step would 
only be taken after the most mature preparation, and 
upon the full assurance that it would be a thrifty, 
solid business investment, and that the welfare of the 
municipal organism would be promoted. Next, may 
we not expect to see something like a municipal mo- 
nopoly of the fuel-supply? With the progress of 
electricity as an illuminant, gas is likely to be used 
more and more as a fuel. The city will already be 
supplying a certain number of gas-motors and gas- 
stoves } and the very logic of its position, as monopo- 
list in the domain of gas and electricity, will surely 
with the inevitable triumph everywhere of the idea of 
an urban distribution of heat or fuel, or both, from 
central reservoirs lead the conservative Stuttgart 
municipality into the practical business of supplying 
another common necessity. * 

If any one chooses to call this sort of thing a plunge 
into socialism, it would probably be idle and profitless 
to quarrel with his use of a much abused word. The 
Germans would consider it nothing else than a thrifty 
and progressive municipal housekeeping. It involves 
no new principles; for everything was already in- 
volved, potentially, in the German conception of the 
municipality's full and unlimited responsibility for 
the general welfare of the community. If German 
experience showed that the. various common services 
that we call natural monopolies of supply could be 
conducted by private persons in a manner more ad- 
vantageous to the community, there would soon be 


A municipal 

This dos 
not mean 

A mere 
question of 






Disposal of 


of cleansing 




an end of municipal management ; but the municipal 
responsibility would be undiminished, and the muni- 
cipality would remain what it now is, a great, posi- 
tive, dominating factor in the life of the citizens, an 
organic entity. Conservative Stuttgart a good while 
ago assumed the ownership and control of the water- 
supply, and conducts the business both for the health 
of the people and also for substantial profits to lessen 
the direct taxes. It also manages quite elaborately 
as a municipal monopoly the removal of night-soil 
and domestic refuse, turning the nitrogenous waste 
into a fertilizer ; and this undertaking is not only self- 
supporting, but productive of an attractive net in- 
come. Stuttgart has not found out how to make 
street-sweeping and garbage-disposal a source of clear 
profit, but it manages fairly well to secure public and 
domestic cleanliness ; and by keen business manage- 
ment and a perfect readiness to turn much or all 
of the work over to private contractors when that 
method appears most economical, the best results are 
attained at the least cost to the community. The 
Stuttgart municipal cemeteries are conducted at a 
moderate net profit/ In a limited sense, the very 
parks are a source of income. That is to say, the 
whole acreage of municipal pleasure-grounds, hospi- 
tal-grounds, school-grounds, and other areas contain- 
ing trees, is for certain purposes put under control 
of a forestry department of the city government; and 
this department, by a judicious and non-destructive 
harvesting of the timber resources of the municipal 
domain, is able to keep up paths and lawns, to pay all 
its own salaries and expenses, and to turn over as net 
profits fifty per cent, of the gross revenue from the 
sale of timber and firewood. I have mentioned these 
matters as minor instances of the characteristic thrift 
of a G-erman city government. I have never heard 


Stuttgart mentioned as a model; and it would be CHAP. vi. 
easier to array such concrete illustrations from the 
housekeeping of various other cities. 

But a deep responsibility for the welfare of the 
municipal household means something very different .of mum- 
f rom the successful conduct of these specific business clp sfomty? n " 
undertakings. Their assumption, or their relegation 
to private hands, involves little more than a decision 
from time to time as to what is opportune and what 
is inopportune. It is conceivable that the German 
city might do none of these things, and that the 
American city might plunge into them all, and yet 
that the German city should remain a far more posi- 
tive and essential factor in the life of its citizens. 
For the German city would hold fast to its concep- 
tion of the municipal household, and would yield 
nothing of its solicitous oversight and its inclusive 
responsibility. The German city holds itself respon- 
sible for the education of all; for the provision of 
amusement and the means of recreation; for the 
adaptation of the training of the young to the neces- 
sities of gaining a livelihood ; for the health of fami- 
lies ; for the moral interests of all ; for the civilizing 
of the people ; for the promotion of individual thrift ; 
for protection from various misfortunes ; for the de- 
velopment of advantages and opportunities in order 
to promote the industrial and commercial well-being, 
and incidentally for the supply of common services 
and the introduction of conveniences. 

Broadly but not sharply distinguished, the Ger- 
man cities recognize two kinds of functions: those 
that can be made largely self-supporting or even pro- 
ductive of net revenue, and. those that cannot possibly 
be so considered. The latter are the more important ; 
and in this class the three most important are the 
education of the children, the protection of the public 


CHAP. vi. health, and the care of the poor and unfortunate. 
To accomplish these and other kindred ends, munici- 
l S i M J a 1 P ft l -^ e * n Gtenaimy has been reduced to a science. 
science. German population-masses are more cohesive than 
Anglo-Saxon masses, and the individual is more de- 
pendent upon his neighbors and upon the community 
to which he belongs. The voluntary principle would 
not work so well in Germany as in England or Amer- 
ica. But we must remember that the municipal in- 
tervention in Germany is not merely mechanical. 
Principles exist which give heart and soul to the sys- 
tem. The voluntary agencies have been absorbed in 
the municipal, or affiliated with them, without crush- 
ing out the sense of human brotherhood and mutual 
responsibility upon which, after all, must rest the 
well-being of any community. 

Municipal financiering in Germany is a high art. 
It unites thrift and minute economy with broad lib- 
Principles erality. Its most obvious feature is to make each 
} tomce? a service or department self-sustaining or productive 
so far as possible, and to make the social benefits of 
the non-productive departments so clear as to admit 
of no doubt. Where charity has become so com- 
pletely municipalized, the duty of caring for the 
aged and the submerged poor involves a heavy draft 
upon current revenues; but ultimately German fi- 
S poverty? f nance will have perfected systems of compulsory in- 
surance that will enable the State and municipality 
to accumulate social salvage funds out of which old 
age and distress can for the most part be sustained. 
Education will remain a heavy burden; but the Ger- 
man community no longer needs to be reminded that 
Education; thorough and specialized education tells so promptly 

its cost and * . . *. , _ . ., , . , * J 

worth, upon the industrial productivity and commercial pros- 
perity of a city or a province that it is cheap at any 
cost. In like manner Germany's municipal statisti- 



eians and hygienic experts have come to the aid of 
the financiers with facts and conclusions so irresisti- 
ble, that the people are ready to bear burdens of taxa- 
tion for the boon of an exemption from febrile dis- 
eases and a reduction by one half of infant mortality. 
The money that is spent in the interest of the common 
health is applied with such amplitude of scientific 
knowledge, and such care that every dollar shall 
count for an end that is in the long run commercially 
profitable as well as socially salutary, that the in- 
vestment is plainly seen to justify the borrowing of 
the money and the pledging of the municipal credit. 
Meanwhile, the courage of the community is sus- 
tained, under the heavy ordeal of taxation, by the 
success of the municipal government in managing 
the departments that are productive in their nature, 


Even though these departments yield only a small 
fraction of the total revenue necessary to meet the 
expenditures of a municipality that is responsible for 
the welfare of all its people, they give an air of thrift 
to its financiering, and encourage an optimism that 
sees in the future monopoly-rentals of various fran- 
chises and supply-services a largely increased propor- 
tion of the public revenue. 

It is not strange that the American observer should 
at first be most impressed by the splendid efficiency 
of German city governments in the prosecution of 
public works and enterprises. This is largely due, of 
course, to the superb and continuous organization of 
the executive administration. The burgomaster is 
actually or virtually a life incumbent, and his magi- 
sterial associates who conduct the various depart- 
ments either hold their places by life tenure or else 
upon terms practically as permanent. The city coun- 
cil, representing the people's will, is renewed by in- 

CHAP. vi. 
_. _ 

Hie iinancia.1 



agemcnt o 

earning de- 






of far-reach- 
ing plans. 


paving, and 
New York's. 


stalments. The terms are long, and reelections are 
so usual that the personnel of the body is transformed 
very slowly, and nothing like an abrupt or capricious 
change of policy is ever probable. Consequently it 
is possible to make long plans, to proceed without 
haste, to distribute burdens through periods of years, 
to consult minute economies, and to make an even, 
symmetrical progress that has far more of tangible 
achievement to show for every half-decade than could 
be possible under our spasmodic American methods. 
A German city, let us say, decides to have well-paved 
streets, and to modernize its whole thoroughfare-sys- 
tem. It proceeds to learn everything that can possi- 
bly be known about street-making. The effect of its 
immediate climatic conditions upon different kinds 
of materials is studied theoretically and experimen- 
tally. The municipal department of public works 
does not move a step until every detail of the prob- 
lem from the engineering and from the financiering 
standpoint has been thoroughly worked out. 

On this fashion the magnificent public works of Ber- 
lin have proceeded. The result is that in the period 
from 1870 to 1890, it may be asserted, $100,000 ac- 
complished more for the permanent making of good 
streets in that city than $1,000,000 in New York. 
Vastly more money had been expended on the streets 
of New York than on those of Berlin in these twenty 
years. Yet Berlin was beautifully paved, while New 
York, except for a few favored streets, was almost as 
impassable as Constantinople or Damascus. Since 
1890 New York streets have improved; but the con- 
trast in 1895 was only a little less painful. Nothing 
accounts for this difference except the superiority 
of sound business methods in Germany over wasteful 
political methods in America. Throughout all G^r- 
many the public-works departments of the towns are 


busy carrying out the mandates of their respective CHAP. vi. 
municipalities, and creating on permanent lines the 
material attributes of the well-ordered modern city. 
Nothing is hurried, yet nothing seems to lag when 

i j t / i An era of im- 

once begun. Street-systems are rectified: new sub- provement 

T_ i i i j j. i j_ in German 

urbs are judiciously laid out ; here a new water-sup- towns. 
ply, introduced from high sources, employs engineers, 
architects, and conduit-builders. In another city 
new sewers are in progress, on a plan for the complete 
and final drainage of the place. River frontages are 
undergoing magnificent improvement, for purposes 
of water traffic. Gas-works, electric-plants, market- 
houses, public abattoirs, school buildings, epidemic 
hospitals, bridges, wharves, subways, or whatever 
else the expanding requirements of the municipality 
may ordain, all are in course of construction by me- 
thods that insure the highest utility and greatest per- 
manence. To cite illustrations or to present statistics 
would introduce an almost endless task. It is enough 
to say that the German cities have accepted the idea 
that their appointments must conform to the newly Recognition 
recognized necessities of modern life, and that they of needs. rn 
are steadily supplying these appointments with mas- 
terly administrative and technical ability, and with 
such a combination of close economy and generous 
foresight as no other nation has ever exhibited. 

Berlin's new era of municipal progress may be 
said to date from 1861. In that year it annexed con- 
siderable suburban territory. The old city walls were Berlin's new 

, n , ,! j_i impulse in 

torn down to give free communication with the new isoi. 
quarters. The Emperor William came to the Prus- 
sian throne in 1861, and his accession marked the be- 
ginning of a liberal policy on the part of the State 
toward the city of Berlin. The new Rathhaus (City 
Hall) was begun in that year. Prussia's ad- 
vance among European powers gave Berlin an ambi- 


CHAP. vi. tion to rival Paris. The influence of the Haussmann 
transformation of Parisian streets was felt in the Ger- 
man capital. The successive wars and Prussian vic- 
tories of 1864, 1866, and 1870-71, ending with the 
formation of the German Empire and the designation 
of Berlin as its capital, enormously stimulated the 
municipal life. A policy of bold initiative was en- 
tered upon. Boulevards were constructed, and the 
new suburbs were handsomely laid out. The royal 
government had always controlled the inner street- 

the streets, system, together with the paving, drainage, the 
Spree navigation, and the bridges, and had allowed a 
private company to furnish the water-supply. A pri- 
vate company also controlled the gas-supply. Educa- 
tion was largely in private or clerical hands. But 
the awakened municipality acquired from the general 
government in 1874 the control of the streets, and set 
about reforming them. It entered upon projects of 
widening and straightening lines of main thorough- 
fare, and of laying good pavements. The process has 
gone on steadily to this day, with magnificent results. 
The city acquired control of the shallow and sluggish 

the spree. Spree, embanked it with massive walls, flanked it with 
broad stone quays, dredged it for heavy traffic, and 
replaced its old wooden bridges with modern struc- 
tures of stone and steel. 

In 1873 the municipality had acquired control of 
the water-supply, and had at once proceeded to create 

aggressive a new and improved system. It also determined to 
abandon the growingly dangerous practice of drain- 
ing the pity sewage into the diminutive Spree ; and it 
entered not only upon a marvelous system for the 
disposal of sewage, but also proceeded in the interest 
of the public health to create a great series of sanitary 
institutions, including municipal slaughter-houses 
and market halls, hospitals for infectious diseases, 




The making 

of a 

unified arrangements for public and private cleans- 
ing, and systematic inspection of food, houses, and 
all conditions affecting the public health. The be- 
ginnings of the municipal gas manufacture had dated 
from about 1870, and the success of the experiment 
had led to very great enlargements in 1875. Mean- 
while, education had been municipalized with an 
energy and thoroughness perhaps unprecedented any- 
where. Manufactures and railways had been encour- 
aged, and technical and practical education had been 
so arranged as to promote Berlin's development as a 
center of industry. Parks, recreation-grounds, and 
gymnastic establishments were provided for the peo- 
ple. Housing was at length brought under municipal 
regulations of a very strict character, in the interest 
of the working masses ; and an excellent and comprehen- 
sive system of street-railways was devised, under mu- 
nicipal inspiration, though under private management, 
for the better facilitation of local transit and the wider 
distribution of the rapidly growing population. Ber- 
lin is about four times as large as it was in 1860 ; and 
the immense influx of people, chiefly of the working 
classes, has been received and accommodated with an 
ease that seems nothing short of magical. 

The quantity of water used by a city is regarded 
by British sanitary authorities as, in a rough way, a 
measure of its relative civilization. An abundant 
supply of pure water, thoroughly distributed, is in- 
deed a vital consideration for any city, too vital to Berlin , s wa _ 
be entrusted to private business control. Berlin has ter supply. 
abundant reason to rejoice in the past twenty years 
that it has had direct management of its water. The 
quantity has had to be constantly increased, and the 
purity of the supply has had to be secured by filtra- 
tion, involving elaborate plants. New sources, more 


CHAP. vi. and more remote from the city, have had to be found 
and brought into the system. A private company 
could never have been induced to make the invest- 
ment required for a sufficient and purified supply ; but 

The financial the city has found it profitable, considered as a purely 
view. commercial undertaking. The works supply Berlin 
with about 40,000,000 cubic meters per annum, of 
which nearly ten per cent, is used free of cost for 
various public purposes. The income collected from 
private users pays all expenses of operation, and after 
providing for interest on the cost, and for a sinking- 
fund to redeem the debt on the plant, it yields a sur- 
plus net profit each year of about 2,500,000 marks. 

The samtar ^e sanitary authorities at Berlin have led the world 
considera- in recent inquiries into the relation of water-supply 
to public health; and the character of the service ren- 
dered by the Berlin water- works is constantly improv- 
ing. Science has triumphed notably over natural 
difficulties, and the municipality will be able, in de- 
veloping the service, to keep pace with the rapidly 
increasing demand. The Berlin population is housed 

water sola * n tenement-flats, and water is sold by meter not to 
by meter, the tenant, but to the landlord of the building. The 
system prevents waste without depriving the people 
of an amount equal to all their necessities. It is a 
method that has been worked out gradually and in- 
telligently, and it saves the city a great deal of money. 
The other German cities are adopting it. 

When the Berlin authorities decided to establish a 
metropolitan water-supply, they also determined upon 
another and still greater undertaking; They per- 

G .,? d S6 tt er " ce i ye( l that the modern city requires, as the com- 

compiement plement of a good system of pure water distributed 

of good wa- * _ " _ A , .,,. ,- 

ter supply, through every street and every building, an equally 
good system of house drainage and of sewage re- 
moval and disposition. The modern ideal is a strong, 



pure volume of water, derived from sure and constant 
sources that are beyond danger of pollution, forced 
by ample pressure through a network of mains and 
penetrating every abode, and then, being contami- 
nated by use and saturated with refuse from closets, 
kitchens, and street drainage, collected again and car- 
ried off in sewage tunnels to some safe destination. 
The old-time Berlin had drained into the Spree, and 
had used vaults for solid waste instead of the modern 
all-receiving sewers. Good drainage was as neces- 
sary as good water, and the discharge of unpurifled 
sewage into the Spree as a permanent system was out 
of the question. Artificial purification, and the manu- 
facture of fertilizers from the precipitated solids 
would have been possible ; but Berlin wisely adopted 
the better plan of natural purification by the irrigat- 
ing of land. Immense research was bestowed upon 
the subject, with the result that the Berlin drainage 
is the most perfect in the world and is unquestionably 
that city's most notable achievement in municipal 
housekeeping, so far as physical forms and conditions 
are concerned. The city was divided into twelve 
drainage districts, called "radial systems/' the divi- 
sions being arranged upon considerations of topogra- 
phy. The sewers of each district were to converge 
at a common center, at which would be located a re- 
ceiving-basin and steam-pumping works. A tunnel 
was to connect each of these district centers with the 
reservoirs and pumping-works of a sewage farm some 
miles distant. 

The work upon this vast project began about the 
middle of the decade 1870-80, each radial system 
being dealt with independently. By 1880, systems 
I., II., and III. had been put into use, and thus the in- 
ner sections of the city, including the business core, 
were connected with a large area of municipal f arm- 


ment of the 

Adoption of 



The radial 

The project 





CHAP. vi. land lying some fifteen or twenty miles southward. 
System IV., embracing the north central part of Ber- 
lin on the upper side of the Spree, was also ready for 
use before 1880, and was connected with a -very ex- 
tensive tract of land lying a few miles northeast of 
the city. System V., pertaining to the great eastern 
residence portion of Berlin, was opened in 1881, 
although general house-connection was not complete 
until 1886. Systems VI. and VII., draining the south- 
ern outskirts, and including portions of the suburban 
towns of Charlottenburg and Schoneberg, were in full 
service by 1887. Systems VIII. and IX. lie north of 
the Spree at the extreme western limits of the city. 
System X. is on the north side and embraces new 
and partly built-up quarters, while Systems XI. and 
XII. are on the eastern limits. System VIII., drain- 
ing due north to a third great body of municipal land 
through a tunnel perhaps ten miles long, was ready 
for use in 1891, as also was System X. The remain- 
ing systems were not urgently needed, and work 
upon them was allowed to proceed more slowly. 

Excepting for some thinly populated outskirts, 
therefore, all the houses of Berlin are now connected 
with the new drainage-works, which are carrying 
annuaUy from 60,000,000 to 70,000,000 cubic meters 
of sewage to be distributed by scientific irrigation 
over the surface of municipal farms having an ag- 
gregate extent of more than twenty thousand acres, 
or upwards of thirty square miles. Additional land 
has been bought from time to time. It is interesting 
to note that a city whose municipal limits include 
only twenty-five square miles should have acquired an 
outside domain of thirty square miles as a place for the 
discharge of its liquid waste. The Berlin sewage 
farms were tracts of rather poor and sandy soil ; but 
land is not very cheap in the vicinity of so great a city, 

Extent of 

the sewage 




and the purchase money reached about 15,000,000 
marks. An additional 15,000,000 marks had been 
spent prior to 1893 in laying out the farms, trench- 
ing and tiling them for irrigation purposes, and equip- 
ping them with the necessary buildings and improve- 
ments. At that time there had been expended upon 
the radial systems in Berlin and the discharging tun- 
nels about 65,000,000 marks, making a total invest- 
ment of nearly 10,0000,000. With the further outlay 
to be made in completion of the system as a whole, 
the new Berlin sewage-works, including the farms 
and their improvements, may perhaps be said to con- 
stitute a 120,000,000 mark ($30,000,000) plant. 

It is novel from an American point of view to con- 
sider a city's drainage-works as a self-sustaining or 
productive enterprise, like its water- works and its gas- 
works. But Berlin regards the matter in that light. 
Before the new system was introduced, the citizens 
had to pay for the removal of night-soil, etc. The 
city now charges a moderate sewage-rate against all 
property that the system serves. The parts of the 
farms that have been brought under closest cultivation 
are already very profitable, although the net income 
from the entire thirty square miles does not yet pay 
the full interest on the investment (for purchase and 
.improvement) of 30,000,000 marks. The fertilizing 
value of the sewage is so great, and the administra- 
tion of the farms is so superb, that within a very few 
years the investment will have become enormously 
productive. On each of the farms are nurseries of 
young fruit-trees, and considerable areas of orchard 
have already begun to yield some fruitage. Prodi- 
gious crops of vegetables are grown, and the yield 
per acre of cereals and grass is similarly remarkable. 
Within a reasonable period the sewage farms will 
have earned profits enough to pay back all that was 


Cost of the 
new drain- 
age works. 









A great 



invested in them, and eventually they will be a source 
of surplus income that will materially lessen the load 
of municipal taxation. Meanwhile, from the sanitary 
point of view, the system is an unqualified success. 
Far from being unwholesome, moreover, for the peo- 
ple who live and work upon them, the farms them- 
selves are so free from deleterious influences that con- 
valescent colonies from the city hospitals have now 
been established on them, with gratifying results. 

The problems of water-supply and drainage one 
or both have in recent years forced themselves 
upon many other German cities besides Berlin. 
Hamburg's experience is especially worthy of note. 
The second city in the empire, with a population of 
600,000, with great wealth and vast shipping and com- 
mercial interests, Hamburg had long been aware of 
the need of a pure water-supply. Its situation in a 
flat region at the head of tidal water in the Elbe 
had seemed to make necessary the continued use of 
the river-water, in spite of its unwholesome condition. 
But Hamburg received a great impetus in all direc- 
tions from its inclusion in the German Zollverein a 
few years ago, and from the success of the joint mu- 
nicipal and imperial project of immense harbor im- 
provements. As had happened earlier in Berlin, a 
conjunction of political, commercial, and sanitary 
motives now stirred the Hamburg authorities to an 
unprecedented activity. A magnificent new City 
Hall, to be opened in 1894, was entered upon as a 
symbol of the new municipal era. As the prime san- 
itary reform, it was determined to construct the 
greatest and most complete filtration-plant in the 
world, to supply the city with an unlimited quantity 
of Elbe water, purified to meet the severest tests of 
chemist and bacteriologist. The new works were un- 
der construction when the frightful cholera epidemic 



of 1892 swept away thousands of victims. It was de- 
monstrated that the disease had been propagated 
through the use of Elbe water, and that filtration 
would remove the cholera germs. The new works 
were to have been ready for use in 1894 ; but by great 
effort they were completed and put into operation in 
May, 1893. During the summer and autumn the river 
water, when introduced into the subsidence basins and 
filters, contained millions of cholera germs to the 
cubic inch. As it emerged and was supplied to the 
city, the water was as safe and wholesome as if it had 
been brought from high Alpine sources. The filtered 
water averted the return of the epidemic in 1893. So 
striking an object-lesson in municipal health admin- 
istration has never been presented before, and its 
effect will have been felt everywhere in Europe. The 
cholera invasion led Hamburg to adopt various sani- 
tary reforms, and I shall discuss them more particu- 
larly in the next chapter. Hamburg's sewers form a 
fairly complete modern system, but the city has not 
finally solved its problem of sewage disposal. At 
present the entire volume is carried in a huge collect- 
ing tunnel to a point below the city, where it is emp- 
tied into the river during the hours when the tidal 
movement is seaward, and dammed back when the 
tide flows in. But the amount is too great to be 
carried out satisfactorily, and much of it pours back 
to foul the harbor with the turn of the tide. Ulti- 
mately Hamburg must adopt a plan of artificial puri- 
fication, after the example of London, or else must 
follow Berlin's still better example of natural filtra- 
tion through the soil of sewage farms. 

Breslau, which ranks fifth in population among the 
German cities, and is the second city of Prussia, is too 
little known to the English-speaking world. It is 
one of the model municipalities, and its adnainistra- 



the cholera. 


Breslau as 
a model mu- 


CHAP. vi. tion deserves high praise for many excellent features. 
Dr. Forckenbeck, who served for so many years as 
the upper burgomaster of Berlin, and under whose 
masterly administration so many of Berlin's most 
noteworthy undertakings were accomplished, had 
previously distinguished himself at Breslau in a like 
position. The town lies on both banks of the river 
Filtered 0^ er > * rom w ^ich stream it pumps its water-supply. 

river ^ter It has f or some years successfully filtered the water, 

an ferms? ge and it also has carried into full execution a system 
of modern sewers and riesel-felder (sewage farms) 
which leaves little to be desired. The water-works 
are a source of large net income fco the city, and the 
farms, which are rented to tenants, seem also to be 
a profitable investment, quite apart from the indi- 
rect benefits of a system so satisfactory from the 
sanitary standpoint. The entire population is served 
by the water-works, and all the house and street 
drains empty into the tunnels that discharge in the 
basins of the riesel-felder. 

Munich had long suffered from an unenviable rep- 
utation throughout Europe for its high mortality- 
rate, and particularly for the prevalence of malignant 
forms of typhoid fever. There were thousands of 
Alpine 8 cases of fever every year, and the number of deaths 

to effects, from that cause alone was high in the hundreds, in 
some years exceeding a thousand. In 1883 a new 
water-supply from pure springs in the Alps was 
brought into Munich, tainted wells were closed, and 
the foul river-water was superseded for drinking 
purposes. As soon as the new order of things had 
become fairly established, the yearly deaths from 
typhoid fever could almost be counted upon the fin- 
gers of one's two hands. The new water-supply of 
Munich was attended by other sanitary reforms, in- 
cluding improved sewers and the substitution of a 


magnificent municipal abattoir with all modern con- CHAP. vi. 
veniences and ample cattle markets and yards, for 
about eight hundred small private slaughter-houses Municipal 
that had existed in different parts of the city. The 
introduction of Alpine water seemed a bold under- 
taking at the time ; but it has been an easy matter to 
make the works earn surplus profits after paying all 
expenses and providing for interest and sinking-fund. 

All German cities, with a few unimportant excep- 
tions, now own and operate water-works, which are 
made to earn profits averaging from ten to fifteen 
per cent, on the amounts invested. Frankfort-on- 
the-Main has within a few years invested something 
like 30,000,000 marks in improved water-works and 
sewers, and brought about an improvement in health 
conditions that has been most extraordinary. The 
water is taken from several sources, and is of good 
average quality. The sewage is discharged into the 
river, after having undergone treatment by chemico- 
mechanical means for clearing and purifying, the 
precipitated sludge being sold as a fertilizer. The 
results, as shown in a diminished death-rate and the 
disappearance of certain forms of disease, have been 
even more notable than the change at Munich. 

Braunschweig, or Brunswick as we call it in Eng- 
lish, illustrates admirably the transforming effect of 
the new municipal spirit. In 1861 the city celebrated 
the one thousandth anniversary of its founding. It 
was then a compact town of perhaps 40,000 people, 
and medieval in architecture and characteristics. It 
is now a lively manufacturing city of more than 100,- 
000 inhabitants, and is still growing rapidly. It has water and 
lately adopted the plan of sewage farms, having com- systems. 
pleted a modern system of filtered water-supply. Its 
wonderful wealth of old collections illustrating art 
and history has been brought into curious touch with 



A type of 



CHAP. vi. new institutions for practical and popular education. 
Under its newly-paved streets are new sewers 5 and in 
its quaint and famous timber-built houses, erected 
hundreds of years ago, one finds modern plumbing of 
the last twenty years in universal use. The commin- 
gling of the new and the old in this revivified medieval 
capital is merely representative of what has been 
brought about since 1870 in scores of ancient German 
towns. The municipal self-consciousness has been 
marvelously awakened, with results that make the 
story of expansion and progress in our American 
cities seem quite prosaic. 

I have perhaps dwelt too long upon what the Ger- 
mans call the wasserung and entwasserung of their 
cities. But I have chosen to do so because it seems 

wrong." "" to me that this double topic of water-supply and 
drainage is most truly typical of that varied physical 
regeneration that cities must undergo in order to be the 
fit abode of modern communities. I am not compiling 
a directory of German municipal improvements, or 
else I should have to compliment Dantzic for its 
water, its sewers and riesel-f elder, and its general dem- 
onstration of the manner in which a quaint walled 
city and provincial capital of the fifteenth century can 
within two decades make itself a great seaport by 
dredging its shallow harbor to admit modern steam- 
ers ,- can give its population a new prosperity through 
the development of manufactures; and can lift them in 
the scale of intelligence and happiness through pro- 
visions for education and for the unfortunate. 

street-clean- Clean streets and alleys, and immaculate back yards, 
mancitie's. were certainly not conspicuously characteristic of 
German cities twenty years ago. But the recent im- 
provements in water-supply and drainage, as well as 
in general sanitary administration, might naturally 



be expected to have the accompaniment of reformed CHAP. vi. 
cleansing arrangements. Moreover, clean streets had 
been made feasible by the smooth, new paving of 
roadways and sidewalks. As a rule, the streets of 
German cities are now kept in a state of enviable 
cleanliness. Berlin's thoroughfares are scrubbed and 
swept continually, under a system that is perfectly 
organized, and that costs less than $500.000 a year. It ^ ,. 

-i i -T.flj.iT j.- The Berlin 

is a flexible system, providing for the prompt increase system. 
of workmen in bad weather, and never helpless in the 
presence of a sudden snowfall. The central streets of 
all the leading German cities are thoroughly cleansed 
once a day, at night or very early in the morning, in 
addition to which " flying columns " of street-cleaners 
are on constant day duty to remove horse manure and 
other accumulations. In the residence quarters of 
many German cities it is still the rule that street- 
sweeping is an obligation that rests upon the prop- Extent of 
erty-owners or occupiers. But Berlin, Dresden, Ham- 
burg, Frankfort, and some smaller cities, provide a full 
municipal service, while in Leipsic, Cologne, Stuttgart, 
and other places, the cleansing is partly municipal and 
partly private. Munich, Breslau, and numerous smaller 
places throw the entire burden upon the owners of 
adjacent property. The tendency is toward the direct, 
full municipal service. But the important fact is that 
under all the different systems the municipal authori- 
ties prescribe the rules and regulations, and see that 
they are carried out. Labor is so cheap and abundant 
that it is easy for the German householder to arrange 
for the regular cleansing of his sidewalk and his share 
of street frontage. The municipality, as a rule, at- 
tends on its own account to the removal of the sweep- 
ings. It has also become the prevailing practice in 
German cities to make the removal and disposal of 
domestic ashes and garbage a municipal function, and 


CHAP. vi. this service is conjoined with that of removing the 
street sweepings. 
So far as I am aware, Dresden is the most f astidi- 

Dresden's ous ty clean of all the German cities. It extends the 

cleansing, uniform daily cleansing to a large area. Berlin's dis- 
trict of daily cleansing is comparatively small; but 
the area whose streets are swept from three to five 
times a week is large, and all the important outlying 
streets are well cleansed twice a week. If I should 
name the small sums for which Hamburg, Dresden, 
Bremen, Diisseldorf, Essen, and other cities obtain 
remarkably thorough and satisfactory results, I am 
afraid I should not be believed by American munici- 
pal authorities. Everywhere in Germany one notes 
the perfect organization of these services, and their 
rapid improvement as the standards of civilized life 
unified man ^ ecome naore rigorous. The trend in Germany is 

agementof toward a unified direct municipal service of street 

cleansing, _ .-IT -,1 i , 

sprinkling cleansing, sprinkling, and garbage removal; and 
while much diversity of system exists at present, there 
is no failure in any large German town of that exer- 
cise of full municipal authority and responsibility 
which prescribes what shall be done and sees that the 
prescription is carried out. 

About two thirds of the large German cities own 
and operate gas-works as municipal enterprises. The 
list of such cities numbers approximately thirty. 
Public lighting, under modern conditions, has grown 
to be a very extensive and necessary social service. 
Nearly a quarter of all the artificial light required by 
the denizens of many modern European cities is used 
in streets and public places. Obviously, the cities 
that reserve the gas-supply as a municipal monopoly 
are enabled to provide for public lighting at the lowest 
absolute cost of manufacture. With the unlimited 




of public 


Public con- 
trol of pri- 
vate plants. 

technical and administrative skill that they control, CHAP. vi. 
the German cities are in my judgment at a distinct 
advantage over private corporations in the economi- 
cal conduct of the gas business. The tendency of 
municipal ownership is, moreover, toward a more 
complete street illumination and a more thoroughly 
diffused private use of an article that is at once a 
civilizing agent and a police protection. As a monop- 
oly enterprise it is of course easy to make the works 
pay good profits. The cities which are now supplied 
by private companies will probably, one after another, 
as franchise periods terminate, assume municipal 
control. Everything indicates such a policy. 

Meanwhile, most of these cities secure gas for pub- 
lic illumination at greatly reduced prices, and the 
cost to private consumers is strictly regulated. Mu- 
nich is the largest of the cities that are supplied by a 
private company; and I remember at one time ob- 
serving with satisfaction that the municipal laboratory 
of that city tests the illuminating power of the gas 
every day, in order to protect the citizens from an in- 
ferior quality. This Munich circumstance fairly illus- 
trates the full municipal supervision that is exercised 
in Germany over the gas-supply, even when under 
private ownership. For the benefit of American cities 
entertaining the absurd delusion that there can be 
beneficial competition in the gas business, it should 
be remarked that only one of all the cities of Ger- 
many, namely, Frankfort-on-the-Main, has chartered 
rival private gas companies; and the price of gas is 
higher there than anywhere else in the country. 
Among the cities that own their own gas-works are 
Berlin, Hamburg, Breslau, Leipsic, Dresden, Cologne, 
Konigsberg, Bremen, Diisseldorf, Nuremberg, Dant- 
zic, Magdeburg, Chemnitz, Barmen, Stettin, and 
Brunswick. The principal ones supplied by private 


CHAP. vi. companies are Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfort-on-the- 
Main, Hanover, Strassburg, and Altona. 

In the matter of municipalizing electricity, the 
Municipal Gr erman cities have moved somewhat slowly ; but the 
^rdseiec 6 " mar ^ e d tendency is toward the appropriation for the 
trie plants, welfare of the community of all advantages and 
profits to be derived from the distribution of light 
and power from central electric stations. The gov- 
ernmental operation of telegraph and telephone lines, 
and the municipal supply of gas for lighting and for 
motors, had predisposed the German communities to 
a public control of such newer services as electric 
lighting and the electrical distribution of power. The 
municipal authorities would naturally be reluctant to 
admit private companies to any rights under the street 
surface. Public control of gas- and water-supplies, 
and of other services requiring pipes, tubes, and wires, 
has resulted in so orderly and convenient a system of 
underground conduits that it is deemed wise to allow 
no private companies to disturb it. Municipal elec- 
trical works are regarded as the logical development 
of a policy generally accepted in Germany. Berlin is 
an exception to the rule, perhaps because the feasi- 
bility of public control was not so apparent when the 
Berlin Electrical Company obtained its franchise. 
The Berlin works were opened in 1886. 

Hamburg's municipal plant was ready in 1889, and 
Hamburg's that city is peculiar among its German contemporaries 
plant,- in in the fact that it leases out both its gas-works and 
lessee, its electrical-works to be operated for it by a pri- 
vate contractor. Liibeck, Barmen, Konigsberg, Metz, 
Darmstadt, and Duisburg were operating general 
municipal electrical- works before the end of 1890. 
which c have More recently, the five important cities of Breslau, 
m worksf Cologne, Diisseldorf, Altona, and Cassel had built 
municipal plants ; and still later, both Dresden and 


Stuttgart decided to enter at once upon the same CHAP.VI. 
policy. Leipsic, on the other hand, has preferred a 
different arrangement, and has given a franchise to 
the Siemens & Halske Company, on terms regarded as policy, 
especially favorable to the city and the public. The 
works came into operation in 1895, and at the end 
of the franchise period, which is a long one, they are 
to become municipal property without cost. 

Although Berlin and Leipsic have given electric- 
light franchises to private companies, let no reader 
imagine that the interests of the municipalities and 
of the citizens were betrayed, or left at any point un- 
guarded. As an example of what is considered a , A x . 

j i i oo i r* >A 111 Interesting 

suitable form of franchise in Germany, it would be points in 

. . , . , ,, , . , , , T the Berlin 

instructive to quote the entire revised contract made franchise. 
in 1888 between the Berlin city authorities and the 
Berlin Electric Works Company. It defines the area 
within which the company may operate. It re- 
quires, under heavy penalties, that the area be fully 
provided with main wires within a brief period speci- 
fied in the contract. As compensation for permis- 
sion (not exclusive) to use the streets, it is agreed 
that the municipal treasury shall receive 10 per cent. Liberal com- 
of the company's gross receipts, and further, that P to city! n 
whenever the company earns a net profit of more than 
6 per cent, on its actual investment of capital, the 
city treasury shall receive 25 per cent, of such excess 
profits, in addition to its 10 per cent, of the gross in- 
come. Still further, it is agreed that the company 
shall provide the magnificent electric illumination of Favorable 
the central avenue Unter-den-Linden, together with terms for 
that of the Potsdamer Platz and the Leipziger Strasse, lighting, 
with all expense of maintenance and attendance, at a 
price so low as to be nominal. Besides this, a special 
and favorable rate is provided for such further electric 
street-lighting as the municipality may desire. The 


CHAP. vi. city authorities retain the fullest rights of inspection 
Ri hts of k technical and financial, and all the company's 
inspection, affairs are open to the knowledge of responsible pub- 
lic officials. The city requires the deposit of 250,000 
marks as caution-money, and holds the company down 
to the strictest rules in regard to the laying of wires 
and breaking up of street or sidewalk surfaces. The 

Various pre- . . , , ... 

cautions, company is required, moreover, to maintain a re- 
newal fund equal to 20 per cent, of its invested capi- 
tal j and this fund, in the form of Berlin municipal 
bonds, must be kept on deposit with the city magis- 
trates. Accompanying the agreement was an official 
schedule of rates that the company was authorized to 
Bates to charge its private patrons. No departures from es- 
imtrons. tablished rates can be made without consent of the 
city authorities. Finally, the municipality reserves the 
right to buy the entire plant and all its appurtenances 
at any time after October 1, 1895, upon a fair basis of 
Right of city valuation carefully provided for in the contract. The 
p?ant. ase arrangement in all its details is an elaborate one, 
but it is the perfection of business lucidity and intel- 
ligence. What if New York, Chicago, Boston, and 
Philadelphia had based all their grants of valuable 
municipal privileges in the past thirty years upon 
principles as sound as those that protect German mu- 
I Si? C tfhSc r nicipal interests in contracts with quasi-public supply 
mterestcom- corporations ? In studying these German contracts 

mands the r , . , -, 

best talent, one is always impressed with a sense of the first-class 
legal, financial, arid technical ability that the city is 
able to command ; while American contracts always 
impress one with the unlimited astuteness and ability 
of the gentlemen representing the private corporations. 

I should prefer to wait five or even ten years before 

street-rail- writing upon the relation of the German municipality 

Germany, to street-railways and transit facilities. The business 

of transporting urban passengers is far more highly 



developed in America than in Europe. Our urban 
populations are much more widely distributed, and 
rely far more upon public vehicles. Most German 
cities were originally walled and very compact. The 
large tenement building, several stories high, housing 
numerous families, is the prevailing type. Municipal 
areas are small, and outlying suburbs are compara- 
tively unimportant. Families, whether in the city or 
in the suburbs, as a rule live near their daily work. 
All this has begun to change 5 and a redistribution of 
population over larger areas, under the influence of 
new industrial conditions, and with the increase 
of cheap transportation facilities, is now taking place 
rapidly in Germany, as almost everywhere in Europe. 
But the magnitude of the movement will hardly make 
itself realized for several years to come; and the 
transit-systems will not have attained an importance 
at all comparable with those in America before the 
end of another ten years. 

Yet the horse-railways of Berlin, Hamburg, Frank- 
fort, Munich, Leipsic, Dresden, Cologne, Stuttgart, 
and other cities are to-day exceedingly well managed, 
and are thriving under a patronage that grows rap- 
idly from year to year. The first street-railway in 
Germany was a short line opened at Berlin in 1865. 
Excepting for small beginnings at Hamburg and 
Stuttgart, no other German city ventured upon the in- 
novation until 1882, when Dresden, Leipsic, Frank- 
fort and Hanover entered the list. In the next 
ten years more than thirty other leading German 
towns began their street-railway systems. Nothing 
could have been more logical than an era of street- 
railway construction following upon an era of new 
street making and paving, which had included the 
straightening and widening of main thoroughfares, 
and the development of radials from town centers to 
outer peripheries. 




in various 




the ru?e s . 


CHAP. vi. While in several German cities there is more than 
consolidated one street-railway company, the prevailing rule and 
tendency is toward a single system with one central 
management, brought under very direct and inti- 
mate municipal supervision. The money value of 
street-railway franchises in Germany is beginning to 
be considerable, but it will yet be several years be- 
fore the city treasuries can hope to realize large in- 
comes from the rentals and tributes exacted from 
transit corporations. Every one who goes to Berlin 
is now impressed with the admirably complete and 
satisfactory service of horse-cars that permeates the 
whole city. Nearly all these lines belong to the 
" Grosser Berliner Pf erde-Eisenbahn-Actien-Gesell- 
schaft" (Great Berlin Horse Railway Stock Company). 
The municipal authorities have carefully projected 
the new lines or extensions that this system has added 
from time to time, having in mind the present and 
future development of the metropolis. The company 
has paid lump sums for the franchises, varying from 
a few thousands to hundreds of thousands of marks, 
according to the extent or probable paying character 
of the new line or extension. In addition, the com- 
pany has assumed heavy burdens with regard to the 
maintenance of the paving and cleansing of streets 
traversed by its lines, and is further compelled to 
make yearly cash payments to the municipal treasury 
in return for its privileges, on the basis of its earn- 
ings. At the end of the franchise, in the year 1911, 
the entire system falls to the municipality as its own. 
Meanwhile the company pays to the city an annual 
cash sum that now amounts to more than 1,000,000 
marks. This results from a percentage on gross re- 
ceipts, the rate increasing as the company's business 
grows. The minimum rate is 4 per cent., but for 
several years past 7J per cent, or more has been paid,. 

to city. 


Hamburg's street-railways pay a municipal tax on CHAP. vi. 
Bach passenger carried, which would amount to per- Hambnr 
haps 8 or 10 per cent, on gross receipts. Besides and its 

., . ,, . i'j.j.-A.i i street-rail- 

this, the companies are subject to other municipal way system. 
taxes, and have duties regarding the maintenance of 
streets. Their tracks will revert to the city at the 
end of the charter period. On the basis of their pres- 
ent business they are unquestionably paying the mu- 
nicipality as much as they can afford. The principal 
Hamburg company has not been accustomed to pay 
its shareholders more than about 5 per cent, a year; 
and the stock represents actual investment. Like 
Berlin, Hamburg is principally served by a single 
street-railway corporation, other companies operating 
one or more lines to Altona or some other suburb. 
Cologne's recent enlargement of its limits and rapid 
suburban progress give its transit system an interest- 
ing outlook. The "Koln Strassenbahn-Gesellschaf t " 
(Cologne Street- Railway Company) is working upon a The cologne 
thirty-year franchise which will expire in 1916, when arrangemen 
the municipality will come into ownership of the lines 
without paying anything for them. Meanwhile the 
eompany pays a small fixed yearly rental of perhaps 
ten thousand marks, and alsd pays to the city 15 per 
Bent, of all profits accruing above a 5 per cent, divi- 
dend to the shareholders. The Frankf ort-on-the-Main 
Bontract would seem to be still more favorable to the 
sity. Frankfort's street-railway company which 
monopolizes the transit business except for three or 
four single electric or steam lines operated by inde- fort exacts. 
pendent companies and running out to neighboring 
towns pays the city a fixed annual rental of about 
thirty thousand marks, adds thereto 6 per cent, of its 
total gross receipts, and is further under obligation 
to give the city 50 per cent, of all its surplus net 
earnings above 10 per cent, per annum. 





The ap- 
proved form 
of compen- 


for school- 


lines and 



And so I might cite other contracts in other cities. 
Suffice it to say that with few exceptions the German 
cities manage to obtain payments from street-railway 
companies up to a point fairly equal to the present 
rental value of the franchises they hold, besides taxing 
them as heavily upon their invested capital and their 
business operations as they would be taxed if they 
were ordinary merchants or manufacturers. And the 
franchise payments are so arranged as to increase 
with the earning capacity of the privilege. The fixed 
tax or street-maintenance charge, plus the gross-re- 
ceipts percentage, plus a contingent proportion of 
surplus net profits, is the approved German form of 
compensation for street-railway franchises. Municipal 
supervision extends minutely to such questions as the 
fixing of fares and the frequency of service. There are 
exceptions to the rule, but it may be said almost with- 
out qualification that for minimum distances the fare on 
German street-cars is 10 pfennigs (2 cents), and that 
for longer rides the passenger pays fifteen or twenty 
pfennigs, according to the divisions of the route. On 
some lines the 10-pfennig fare holds good regardless 
of distance; but all lines charge that rate for a short 
ride. In some cities there are special rates for pre- 
scribed classes. For instance, I know of at least one 
city where school-children are carried at one third of 
regular rates, as a part of the bargain between the 
municipality and the company. 

I shall not attempt to describe the beginnings of 
electric transit-systems in Germany, nor to discuss 
pending plans and proposals for a so-called " rapid- 
transit" system in Berlin. It is enough to say that a 
number of German cities have allowed the experi- 
mental equipment of a trolley line or two, and that 
the scientific German mind is at work upon every 
phase of the problem of electric railways, with the 


promise of results that will in a few years deserve the CHAP. vi. 
attention of other countries. At the beginning of this 
chapter I mentioned Stuttgart's consent to a trolley 
system. In Dresden a trolley line has recently been 
completed, and on various suburban routes in Ger- 
many that type of electric railway is in operation. 

All thorough students of the problems of life in 
modern cities are now agreed that the housing of the 

, . ,, , . /7 . . , , . , . The housing 

people is the question that requires, from this time problem. 
forth, the deepest consideration and the boldest and 
most serious treatment. It is a subject that has 
many phases. It was the unapproached excellence of 
their statistical work that enabled the Germans to 
grasp the social importance and pressing nature of 
this problem. Circumstances that I have recounted 
were and are causing their cities to grow very rapidly. 
The temptation was strong upon property-owners to 
make their tenement-hives hold the largest possible The making 
swarms. Rear buildings were hastily run up to fill 
court-room spaces that ought to have been spared for 
necessary air and light. The German cities wore be- 
ginning to repeat in aggravated form the mistakes of 
the great British industrial towns half a century or 
more ago, which left the housing question unregu- 
lated by the authorities, with the consequence of 
frightful overcrowding and horrible slums in which 
some form or other of epidemic was prevailing al- 
most constantly, in which infant mortality was shock- 
ingly great, and in which vice and crime were nurtured 
as in an irresistibly favorable soil and environment. 

The German cities count and classify everything 
with a minuteness that American cities would think superb 
absurd. In fact, however, this statistical work is of 
all things the best service that German municipalities 
render to their citizens. It was not until after 1880 



. VI. 

analysis of 


The one- 
room fami- 
lies and their 

Low death- 
rates of the ! 

that Berlin began to give the most exhaustive statis- 
tical attention to the relation of the housing of the 
people to their condition of health. The mortality 
statistics were at length made to show not merely the 
death-rate for the whole city, but also the rate for 
each portion or ward of the city, and the figures were 
so classified and compiled as to show the number and 
proportion of deaths according to the number of 
rooms occupied by families and according to the lo- 
cation of those rooms with reference to street-front 
and to street-level, that is to say, whether the house- 
hold occupied front or back rooms, and whether those 
rooms were on any given floor from basement to gar- 
ret. The density of population in every section was 
compared with the height of buildings and the amount 
of unbuilt space left. 

In 1885 it was found that 73,000 persons in Berlin 
were living in the condition of families occupying a 
single room in tenement-houses; 382,000 were living 
in houses (I mean by " house w the distinct apartments 
of a household) of two rooms; 432,000 occupied 
houses of three rooms; and 398,000 were quartered 
in the luxury of houses having at least four rooms. 
It was found that, although the one-room dwellers 
were only one sixth as numerous as the three-room 
dwellers, their rate of mortality was about twenty- 
three times as high, and the actual number of deaths 
among them was four times as great. Compared 
with the dwellers in houses of more than four rooms, 
the mortality of the one-room dwellers was at a thirty- 
times greater rate. In a total population at that time 
of 1,315,000, the 73,000 people who lived in one-room 
tenement quarters suffered nearly half the entire 
number of deaths. Their death-rate per thousand 
for the year was 163.5, or about one sixth their entire 
number, while the two-room dwellers sustained a 



A startling 

death-rate of only 22.5, the three-room dwellers es- CHAP.VI. 
caped with the marvelously low rate of 7.5, and the 
well-to-do people, who had four or more rooms for 
their household, suffered by death only at the rate of 
5.4 per thousand of population. 

I am of impression that the relation of mortality in 
cities to the character of the housing of the people 
was never before shown with such frightful distinct- 
ness as in these Berlin statistics, which were com- 
piled and published in 1888. We are wont to regard 
an annual city death-rate of about 20 per thousand 
of the total population as normal, and satisfactorily 
small. We have not, however, become accustomed 
to the minute analysis of such a rate, which might 
show that the respectable and normal average was 
made up of rates for different classes varying from 
3 or 4 per thousand to 200 per thousand. Half the 
mortality of the Berlin one-room dwellers occurred 
in households where five or more persons occupied 
the one enclosed space. 

It would require many pages to give anything like 
an adequate idea of the wide range of the Berlin in- 
quiry of 1885. To have discovered that in one great 
ward of the city the death-rate among children of all 

i / / 

classes and conditions under one year of age was five 
times as great as the death-rate for infants in an- 
other great ward, was to reveal a fact of thrilling, 
even of alarming, significance. It was important to 
have learned that in one locality the deaths of young 
infants constitute half the total deaths, while in an- 
other locality only one fourth of the death-rate is due 
to infant mortality. It was worth while to have as- 
certained the precise effects of residence in basements 
and in garrets. 

The inquiry bore prompt fruit. The municipality 
in 1888 adopted a new code of building regulations 


of infant 





New code 


for air 
and light. 

Character of 
houses pre- 
scribed for 
all districts 

of Berlin 
and vicinity. 

of private 

that was aimed directly at the conditions of inequality 
revealed in the extraordinary statistical reports, the 
character of which I have indicated. Already the 
city was regulating strictly such matters as the 
strength and fire-proof qualities of buildings, their 
height with reference to the street width, the harmony 
of the street frontage, and so on. But now there 
were established drastic rules requiring that at least 
one third of every building lot should be left unbuilt 
as court space for air and light ; forbidding the con- 
struction of apartments for human occupancy con- 
taining less than a prescribed minimum of cubic 
space, or lacking proper provision for daylight, venti- 
lation, and heating. The tenement-houses already in 
occupancy were brought under stricter inspection, 
and the authority of the municipality was in various 
ways employed to lessen the evils of overcrowding, 
and to improve the average character of the housing 
of the poorest classes. 

The results are already becoming appreciable. I 
am confident that the renewed investigations of 1895 
will have made possible a very encouraging compari- 
son with the conditions that existed in 1885. Not the 
least interesting of the actions that have been taken 
by the Berlin authorities, in conjunction with the 
governmental agencies of the adjacent territory, has 
been the laying off of the whole present and prospec- 
tive area of the Greater Berlin in districts for each 
of which has been prescribed exactly the character of 
the houses that property-owners may erect. Thus in 
one neighborhood there shall be detached villas ; and 
no one may spoil the character of the district by 
erecting high apartment-houses. Such regulations, 
of course, seem irksome to many persons. Yet all 
cities must come to the inevitable conclusion that the 
rights of masses in crowded communities are superior 


to the whims of individuals. The pretense that pri- CHAP. vi. 
vate ownership of land carries with it any absolute 
right to disregard general interests, is a baneful 
heresy that is not to be tolerated when it asserts its 
impudent claims. 

Results of the more special inquiries set on foot in 
connection with the last census of Germany have re- 
cently become available, and some of them seem to me 
intensely interesting. For example, it is highly signifi- 
cant of the efficiency of recent municipal measures to 
find that the process of depopulating the congested dis- from w 

tricts in the heart of Berlin has fairly begun. Thus, 
while the city's total population within unchanged mu- 
nicipal boundaries had, in the five years from 1885 to 
1890, increased from about 1,300,000 to nearly 1,600,- 
000, there had been a marked falling off in the five most 
central districts. In one, there was a loss of 178 fam- 
ilies for every thousand, nearly one fifth. In two 
others the decline amounted to 110 families for every 
thousand, or more than one tenth. Meanwhile the 
outer districts had grown enormously, two of them 
doubling their population in the five years. It may 
be said, therefore, that the general growth of Berlin's Rapidity 
population has lately been concomitant with a move- 
ment from the center toward the suburbs that is pro- 
ceeding at an even higher velocity than the increase 
in total numbers. The new construction of houses 
conforms with the strict sanitary regulations to which 
I have referred, and with the broad and bold projects 
of the municipality for the control of population-den- 
sity in all the new neighborhoods. 

Berlin's population as yet is almost wholly housed 
in tenement or apartment buildings. The number tenements 
of households, or distinct housekeeping establish- 
ments, was in 1890 about 367,000; and these were 
included in some 21,600 buildings. The average was 





number of 



growth of 
the large 

type of 



about seventeen families under each roof, comprising 
about seventy-five persons. Including the emperor 
and his nobles, and all the rich families of Berlin, 
there were only about 2200 households out of 367,000 
that had rooms on more than one floor; and of the 
2200 nearly 1400 were connected with business rooms. 
That is to say, the 1400 families had a living-room 
or two "back of the shop," and some more space 
up-stairs. Fewer than six hundred families had 
private houses totally separate from business uses, 
for their own individual occupancy. Not one fam- 
ily in six hundred in Berlin lives in what Ameri- 
cans call a " house," as distinguished from a " flat " or 
an apartment in a tenement building. The average 
size of Berlin's tenement buildings has been increasing 
materially. The buildings that shelter less than 
about forty people were not in 1890 so numerous by 
one tenth as in 1880. Those occupied by from 50 to 
100 people had increased about 40 per cent, in number, 
while those that house from 100 to 300 people had 
increased from 50 per cent, to 300 per cent., the in- 
crease being more rapid according to size. About 
half the inhabitants of the city now live in buildings 
containing not fewer than one hundred people. Such 
a system has its advantages and its disadvantages. 
It makes the distribution of water and gas easier, and 
renders perfect sewer connections more feasible. Ev- 
erything depends upon the question whether or not the 
building is a proper one of its kind. In 1885 about 
120,000 Berliners lived in cellar or basement rooms. 
The actual number of such subterranean dwellers 
was about the same in 1890, but the relative number 
had decreased somewhat. It is the policy of the au- 
thorities to discourage or forbid as rapidly as pos- 
sible the occupancy of unwholesome basements. 
Berlin is not alone in the employment of measures 



to promote improved housing. All the other lead- 
ing German cities have made similar statistical inves- 
tigations, and most of them are endeavoring to re- 
form the evils that they now fully comprehend. 
Breslau's population is the most seriously congested 
in all Germany, the number of one-room families 
being almost. incredible. Including some forty thou- 
sand people who enjoy the privilege of a zubehor (a 
small unwarmed, closet-like appurtenance of a room), 
there were in 1885 not less than 150,000 people, out 
of a total Breslau population of 287,000, who lived in 
houses of only one warmable room. It should be re- 
marked that beside the 73,000 Berliners who lived on 
the absolutely one-room family basis, there were 498,- 
000 who had only one main living-room per household, 
but were lifted somewhat above the status of the 
73,000 by possessing the boon of one or two of those 
precious closets that the Germans call a zubehor. 
Dresden appears to the visitor so spacious and lovely 
that it is hard to believe that its working classes are 
huddled miserably into one-room tenement apart- 
ments. Yet it was true in 1885 that 110,000 people, 
out of a total Dresden population of 228,000, were 
living in the condition of families occupying one main 
room. Fortunately most of these Dresden people 
were able to command the advantage of a zubehor 
closet as a possible retreat from the otherwise absolute 
necessity of being born, eating, sleeping, suffering, 
and dying within the four walls of one stuffy room. 
Among the smaller cities, the housing conditions of 
Magdeburg and Gorlitz have been notably bad. Con- 
siderably more than half of Magdeburg's population 
has belonged to the status of the one-room dwellers. 
Hamburg has housed a full quarter of its population 
on this dense plan, and its compact neighbor Altona 
has had to confess a much worse condition of affairs. 


Housing in 
other cities. 



As to the 




of Berlin. 

The one- 
room popu- 
lation of 

and Gorlitz. 

and Altona. 



CHAP. vi. Leipsic and Munich, the third and fourth cities of 
Germany, afford strikingly better accommodations for 
Munich, their working-people. 

Happily, in all these cities the worst is already past. 
The conditions revealed in 1885 have led to municipal 
General im- policies that are making appreciably for a better aver- 
pr visiSe. n age quantity and quality of house-room. The half- 
decade shows gains. The suburban policy prevails 
everywhere. The results of the detailed inquiry of 
1895 will have made apparent the beginnings of a 
housing reform that may be characterized as a rapid 
evolution, rather than a revolution such as Glasgow 
and certain other cities have at one time or another 

Isolation of 




from grave 

To have understood somewhat the housing condi- 
tions of which I have been writing is the more read- 
ily to grasp the principles and appreciate the methods 
of the general health arrangements and sanitary over- 
sight that the German cities have established. Wa- 
ter, drainage, and cleansing systems having already 
been described, it is plain that the health service of 
next importance is the provision for controlling in- 
fectious and contagious diseases. Berlin's sanitary 
system has been growing more and more perfect for 
many years. Isolation in crowded tenement-houses 
being practically impossible, the city has constructed 
on the most elaborate scale great hospitals for the 
treatment of all forms of epidemic malady. Disin- 
fection stations also, fitted up with huge apparatus- 
for the treatment of clothing, bedding, and various 
movables from homes where cases of infection have 
been found, are in constant use. Berlin has no further 
fear of inability to cope with any hitherto dreaded 
form of contagious or infectious disease; for its health 
appliances are in readiness 'for the most dire emer- 



gency that experience has taught its medical and bac- 
teriological experts to anticipate as possible. It has 
for many years enjoyed the services and advice of 
Professor Virchow as a member of the municipal gov- 
ernment ; and its health department is manned or im- 
mediately counseled by a brilliant array of scientific 
talent. Moreover, the rank and file of the various 
sanitary services is full of skilled, highly-trained offi- 
cials. Eecent tests have shown that Berlin can defy 
even the cholera ; and as for typhus, small-pox, and 
other dreaded scourges, they seem near the point of 
total extermination. Even consumption has been 
marked for governmental conquest by Germany's mili- 
tant men of science. Hamburg, Munich, Dresden, 
Leipsic, and various other German cities have estab- 
lished similarly complete services for the protection 
of their people against the epidemic spread of infection. 
I should rank as next in importance the vast estab- 
lishments that German cities have been bold enough 
to provide for the health control of food-supplies. I 
have already alluded to the magnificent central mu- 
nicipal abattoirs and cattle-markets of Munich, 
opened about the year 1887, with the compulsory clos- 
ing of hundreds of small private slaughter-houses. 
Berlin had entered upon this policy several years 
earlier, and had opened in 1883, on opposite sides of 
the city, two great establishments, wholly superseding 
a business that, a few years before, had been dis- 
tributed through nearly a thousand private slaughter 
houses and yards. The cost of these Berlin institu- 
tions, including the great central cattle-markets which 
come under the same administrative department, ag- 
gregated a sum, I am informed, approaching 20,000,- 
000 marks. The policy adopted was to fix a scale 
of fees for the use of the slaughter-houses that would 
pay cost of management, 5 per cent, interest on the 


in other 

Health con- 
trol of food- 





CHAP. vi. 



now com- 
mon in 


money borrowed, and 1 per cent, for sinking fund 
to extinguish the principal of the debt. Thus, while 
the establishments are fully self -sustaining, they are 
not permitted to earn any monopoly profits. The 
number of beeves, sheep, hogs, etc., slaughtered an- 
nually under Berlin municipal auspices, approaches 
two million. The service is rendered more cheaply 
than under the old system, and the consumers of meat 
have the satisfaction of knowing that every health 
condition is fully regarded. The public inspectors 
pass upon the live animals, and further examine the 
dressed meat. The inspection service is very highly 
organized, and it is of course an immense advantage, 
for thorough health measures, to have all the 
animal food-supply of the city pass, compulsorily, 
through municipal establishments. Not to enumerate 
other cities, it is sufficient to add that a like system 
of exclusive municipal abattoirs and cattle-markets 
is now the rule rather than the exception in the lead- 
ing towns of Germany, and that it is by no means 
confined to the largest places. The Berlin cattle- 
market, unlike the slaughter-houses, is allowed to 
earn profits ; and it easily pays a net sum of half a 
million marks a year into the city treasury. 

So much for the meat-supply. But it is also the 
German policy to bring under official oversight so far 
as possible all other articles of ordinary food-con- 
sumption. To this end the ancient custom of open 
public market-places is just now becoming metamor- 
phosed into a marvelous modern system of vast mu- 
nicipal market-halls, erected in the populous quarters 
of the greater cities, and at the convenient central 
point in smaller places. Berlin has of late been add- 
ing rapidly to the number of its housed markets, and 
its debt on account of the recent cost of land and 
buildings for this one purpose has reached about 


25,000,000 marks. The value of the total invest- CHAP.VI. 
ment is considerably greater than the outstanding Berlin , gmar . 
bonded indebtedness. It is the policy of the market- ket policy. 
hall administration to rent stalls and stands on a purely 
commercial basis, and to make the business profitable. 
The markets are on an admirable financial footing, 
and already help to lighten rather than to increase 
the burdens of the general city treasury. 

The existing Berlin system comprises fourteen of 
these great provision-markets. Their advantages in 
aiding the work of food inspection, and in the protec- 
tion of the poor against unwholesome food of all 
sorts, as well as against extortionate prices, are too 
obvious to need any exposition. How recently Ber- 
lin's policy in this direction has been initiated will be dertakmg. 
apparent when I explain that only one of the halls 
(the so-called " Central ") was in use before 1886, while 
the next seven were opened in that and the two fol- 
lowing years. The remaining six have been opened, 
or their construction has begun, since 1890. 

As yet the municipal cattle-markets and slaughter- 
houses are more general in German cities than the 
great market-halls; but the plan of enclosed, sys- 
tematic produce-markets is now attracting the atten- 
tion of numerous municipalities. What the French 
call the approvisionnement of a city population, and 
what the Germans call the Versorgung der Bevolkerung 
mit Lebensmitteln, the supply of the population with 
food, is everywhere on the European continent a 
subject of constantly increasing municipal concern oversight 

/ j. i.' A 11 ,1 i of food 

and intervention. And quite generally the plan of supplies 
publicly-owned cattle-markets, abattoirs, and whole- 

sale and retail vegetable and provision markets has ^keeping. 86 
come into favor, together with thoroughgoing sys- 
tems of food inspection, which include, besides the 
expert examining corps that serve in the market- 



CHAP. vi. places and go from shop to shop, the most perfectly 
equipped chemical, physical, and bacteriological lab- 
oratories. There is perhaps no function that the 
German cities would more unanimously consider as 
belonging within the sphere of good municipal house- 
keeping than the anxious and aggressive oversight of 
the food-supply. This is a service that the private 
family, especially the poor family, cannot possibly 
secure on its own account. It is therefore proper 
that the authorities should intervene. 

For the care of the poor and the relief of all forms 
of distress, whether temporary or permanent, the 
German cities are superbly organized. The policy 
under which relief is administered has the advantage 
of being a national and uniform one. Thus, while 
the practical working of the policy belongs to the 
municipal administration, there is perfect harmony 
of method not only throughout Prussia but also 
throughout the whole German empire with the ex- 
ception of Bavaria and Alsace-Lorraine. Let us 
glance at the organization of Berlin, for example, as 
a typical city. There is a strong central department 
of the city government with a magistrate at its head 
and with competent specialists and general advisers 
attached to it. But the practical work of relief is 
administered by about two hundred and fifty local 
committees, the city being divided for purposes of 
poor relief into that number of districts. Each dis- 
trict committee has attached to it ex-officio a member 
of the municipal council, and a physician who has 
citizen mem- been appointed as the regular city physician for that 
neighborhood. In addition to these officers the local 
committee contains from five to twelve citizens who 
reside in the district and who have been appointed 
on the ground of character and trustworthiness. 

system. 111 



To be designated a member of one of these local 
committees for the relief of the poor is regarded as a 
mark of respect and is esteemed a substantial honor. 
It shows that a man has good standing with his 
neighbors, and also that he possesses the confidence 
and regard of the ruling authorities of Berlin. No 
man would dream of refusing to serve on such a 
committee. It is held to be one of the most sacred 
duties of citizenship. Moreover, the acceptance of 
the trust is obligatory, refusal carrying with it the 
penalty of increased taxes and, under certain circum- 
stances, a suspension of civil and political privileges. 
No remuneration is attached to these appointments, 
and the duties connected with them are far from 
nominal and may not be shirked. Each district is 
subdivided so that every citizen-member of the local 
committee is made responsible for a certain number 
of families and houses. He is expected to know the 
condition of his little parish. He is fully authorized 
to administer prompt relief in pressing cases, and is 
under obligation to examine thoroughly into all 
cases which require continued assistance. The entire 
local committee assembles at regular times for full 
report and discussion upon the condition of the dis- 
trict ; and reports are carried to the central municipal 
office from all the neighborhoods. Every new mem- 
ber of the local committee is carefully instructed as 
to the scope of his duties and the range of his dis- 
cretion, and inasmuch as appointments are made with 
great care the average of efficiency among these visi- 
tors is very high indeed. There are between two and 
three thousand citizens who thus serve the Berlin 
municipality in conjunction with the regularly sala- 
ried officials. Many of them have acted in this capa- 
city, as friend, neighbor, and helper of the poor, for 
a long period of years. Every householder fully un- 


Service an 

honor and a 



Efficiency of 


CHAP. vi. derstands the system, and every family in distress 

knows exactly to whom to apply for relief. The 

whole system rests upon the principle that the com- 

The family munity is a great family, which is bound to intervene 

principle. f QT j.j ie p rom pt h e ip o f those who are. rendered unable 

through misfortune to help themselves ; and there is 
no loss of self-respect involved in accepting aid at 
the hands of a permanent local committee made up 
of good-samaritan neighbors. Each committee has 
at hand every needed appliance for the prompt sum- 
moning of assistance, medical and otherwise. The 
organization is so complete as to make cases of fraud 
practically impossible, and duplication of relief is a 
thing of the past in Germany. 

This system combines in a single permanent and 

harmonious organization all the good features that 

one finds in our Associated Charity societies, citizens' 

relief committees, and public departments for the care 

A to Berlin, of the poor. The description I have given of the Ber- 

cities. lin organization would apply equally well to Hamburg, 

Frankf ort-on-the-Main, Breslau', Dresden, Leipsic, and, 

in fact, to nearly all the cities, great and small, of all 

viso -n the P^ ons ^ Germany. An analogous system exists in 

country, the country districts, and very interesting provisions 

for the regulation of vagrancy give the authorities a 

vagrants perfect control over the floating population. Berlin 

and lodging- f _ j* i i S T_ i 

houses, has a good service of municipal lodging-houses and 
workhouses which enables it to make humane and 
salutary disposition of the drifting and homeless ele- 
ment from which no great city is ever wholly free. 
Labor Most of the large cities have also lately adopted the 
colonies. pj an o f labor colonies, established on municipal farms, 
for the benefit of certain classes of unfortunate citi- 
zens. The eminent success of the German cities in 
Thousands bringing thousands upon thousands of the best citi- 
zens into permanent and active service in connection. 


with the administration of poor-relief , is not to be for- CHAP. VL 
gotten when one is inclined to criticize German admin- 
istration as perfunctory and mechanical on account 
of the high development of routine officialism and 

Germany has not been satisfied, however, with the 
establishment of a more satisfactory method of poor 
relief than any other country has put into practice. 
It has seemed to German administrators and philan- 

thropists that the whole modern plan of public alms oid s age c . 
ought to be superseded by a system of publicly man- 
aged insurance, to provide against sickness, accidents, 
permanent invalidism, and the feebleness of old age, 
a system aiming at nothing less than the ultimate 
abolition of poverty. Toward this ideal the Germans 
have been very bravely and creditably making their 
way for some years. The business of insurance 
against sickness has now for a decade or more been 
carried on by numerous German municipalities, in 
order to supplement the various relief funds of the Mutual 
trades-unions, and those of the volunteer benefit asso- 
ciations existing in the different wards and localities 
of all the larger German towns. It has been the policy 
both of the general government and also of the muni- 
cipal authorities to encourage and protect in every 
way the formation of these neighborhood and trade 
societies for insurance against illness or accident. 
They are all carefully registered and supervised ; and 
thus the public authorities know precisely to what ex- 
tent these voluntary agencies meet the needs of a 
given community. 

The system, as a whole, whether municipal or oth- 
wise, has had very great development throughout 
Germany; and at length the German empire has 
added the crowning touch by enacting a law for the 
insurance of the working classes against the helpless- 



CHAP. vi. ness of old age. I shall enter upon no discussion of 
this controverted topic of old-age pensions. It is 

T o? oida tion W^te to soon as y et to 3 u dg6 of the results of such 
pensions, insurance in the German cities. I may merely remark 
that the practical administration of this system has 
for the most part been put into the hands of munici- 
pal and local governments ; and that the cities of Ger- 
many, great and small, are now, in addition to their 
many other functions, carrying on or closely super- 
srising, for the benefit of the masses of working-people, 
the business of insurance against sickness, accident, 
invalidism, and old age. All this must seem to most 
Americans a novel if not a dangerous line of innova- 
tion. And yet it grows logically and naturally out 
of the German doctrine of the responsibility of the 
socialism community for the popular well-being. The ob j ection 
relief. is raised in many quarters that this is socialism. To 
which I can only reply that every civilized country, 
for many generations, has fully acknowledged the 
duty and necessity of some form of public poor-re- 
lief ; and in some countries, as in England, the relief 
of the poor has been the heaviest item of public ex- 
penditure. The funds collected by taxation and dis- 
pensed for the sustenance of mendicants and paupers 
have come out of the pockets of the industrious and 
fortunate classes. Recent German thinking on these 
subjects has been along the line of enforced thrift to 
the end that the working classes, through the accu- 
mulation out of their own wages of funds for insur- 
ance against various contingencies, may in time 
become fully self-sustaining, and may thus relieve 
other classes from the necessity of paying heavy taxes 
for the relief of misfortune and pauperism. I should 
wish to give very careful study to the subject of com- 
pulsory old-age insurance or compulsory sickness or 
accident insurance before advocating any such sys- 




tern ; but it requires no expert knowledge to perceive CHAP. VL 
that old-fashioned poor-relief methods, as they exist 
in England and the United States, are more socialistic 
than the modern insurance methods long advocated 
and now practised in Germany. 

Communities which would go so far as to inaugu- 
rate systems for the compulsory mutual relief through 
insurance funds of their masses of working-people, 
would naturally have turned their attention at some 
earlier time to the encouragement of saving and to 
protection from the extortion of usurers. As a mat- 
ter of fact, municipal savings-banks are a venerable 
institution in Germany, and are to be found almost 
without exception in all the large towns of the em- 
pire. In most of the important German towns the 
number of depositors in the publicly managed sav- 
ings-banks considerably exceeds the whole number of 
families in the town. This is now true as regards 
Berlin. In some cities the depositors are twice as 
numerous as the households. The rules and methods 
of municipal savings-banks differ considerably in 
matters of detail. Most of them pay a yearly interest 
of about three per cent. The convenience of deposi- 
tors is served in the larger places by the maintenance 
of a great number of branch offices scattered through 
the different wards and neighborhoods. Thus the 
Berlin savings-bank system has seventy-five or more 
receiving offices, and the Hamburg system has about 
forty. Berlin has more than 400,000 depositors, with 
total deposits approaching 150,000,000 marks. The 
Hamburg deposits had passed the 100,000,000 point 
several years ago, and were rapidly growing in volume. 
Dresden makes the remarkable showing of nearly 
200,000 outstanding depositors' books, with total de- 
posits well exceeding 50,000,000 marks. Leipsic, Mag- 

Number of 



from various 





. vi. deburg, Frankf ort-on-the-Main, Hanover, Konigsberg, 
and Diisseldorf carry, in proportion to their popula- 
tion, marvelously large sums in the municipal savings- 
banks, distributed among very great numbers of de- 
positors. Altona and Bremen show statistics almost 
instances. 6 incredible } and it would seem that in Aachen ( Aix- 
la-Chapelle) almost every man, woman, and child in the 
city holds a bank-book. At the beginning of the year 
1890 105,000 savings-bank books were outstanding in 
Aachen, with credits against the municipal sparJcasse 
(savings-fund) of more than 75,000,000 marks. The 
banks are administered by the public authorities at 
a minimum of expense. Their funds are invested, 
as a rule, in imperial, national, or municipal interest- 
bearing securities. It is the universal policy to pay 
as high a rate as possible to the depositors, and to 
make the savings-bank department barely self-sustain- 
ing. In order that the advantages of savings-banks 
may be practically restricted to the classes for whose 
benefit they were founded, a limit is in most cities, 
though not in all, fixed upon the amount that will 
be received to the credit of any one depositor. 

Municipal pawnshops (leihhauser) are quite as gen- 
eral in the German cities as the municipal savings- 
banks, and some of them are very old. Thus the 
public loan-office of Augsburg dates from the year 
igQl, Nuremberg's was founded in 1618, and Ham- 
burg's in 1650. Those of Dresden, Munich, Breslau, 
Frankfort-on-the-Main, and several smaller cities are 
now more than a hundred years old. Berlin's was 
established more than sixty years agoi Leipsic and 
Cologne began the business early in this century, as 
did Strassburg and a dozen other cities. On the other 
hand, a considerable number of the rapidly growing 
industrial centers of Germany have established mu- 
nicipal pawnshops as a part of the new municipal 




activities of the past ten or fifteen years. Experience 
has fully satisfied the German cities as to the feasibil- 
ity, and the practical benefits to the poor, of an as- 
sumption by the municipality itself of the function of 
loan agent. The rules and methods in vogue have 
been worked out by long experience, and are worthy of 
the attention of other countries. The more common 
rate charged to borrowers is 2 percent, a month on small 
loans, and 1 per cent, a month on sums above about 
thirty marks (seven or eight dollars) ; but in some 
German cities the rates are considerably lower. Be- 
tween the lines of the statistical columns in official 
reports which show the number and amounts of loans 
made on pledges of personal and household effects 
from year to year, one can with very little imagina- 
tion read whole chapters descriptive of good service 
rendered to the poor in times of emergency, and of 
public protection against the class of sharks who in 
our American cities prey almost unrestrictedly upon 
the distress of the tenement-house population. 

If I were attempting an exhaustive topical treat- 
ment of the working functions of German city gov- 
ernments, I should still have to enumerate several 
interesting lines of activity. I have said nothing of 
the organization of fire departments; nor have I 
spoken of house insurance against fire, although this 
is one of Berlin's departments of municipal house- 
keeping. Upon the important question of parks and 
open spaces, I may only say that the strong movement 
everywhere now observable in Germany toward the 
provision of air, light, and space, toward the exten- 
sion of municipal areas, and toward the relief of con- 
gestion in central districts, fully recognizes as a part 
of its practical program the necessity for the estab- 
lishment of numerous small parks, playgrounds, and 
breathing-spaces. A great number of the German 



Rules and 


Fire depart- 
ments and 

Farks and 
open spaces. 




Number of 

small parks 

and public 

gardens in 




and physical 


dut Pu toward 
the child, 

cities and towns were in their medieval days sur- 
rounded by walls, moats and glacis belts ; and these 
have in modern times been transformed into broad 
tree-lined boulevards and public gardens. And the 
recent expansion of these towns has left the ring of 
boulevards and park-spaces well toward the heart of 
the municipality, to the inestimable benefit of the 
population. Most of the municipal parks, squares, 
gardens, and playgrounds of German cities are small, 
but they are quite numerous and well-distributed. 
Berlin has about eighty, Hamburg has more than 
sixty, Munich forty-four, Dresden thirty-five, Cologne 
thirty-two, Nuremberg thirty-one, Breslau twenty- 
eight, Frankfort twenty-five, Chemnitz twenty-four, 
Stuttgart nineteen, Leipsic eighteen, and so on. I 
should be glad to devote some space to the varied 
means employed by German cities for the encourage- 
ment of harmless recreation and for the promotion 
of physical culture. But it is enough to say that the 
German municipality, with its conception of respon- 
sibility for the sum total of the well-being of its 
people, does not disregard the fact that recreation is 
a necessity, and that in crowded cities the subject is 
one not to be left wholly to personal choice or private 

In conclusion I have but to mention briefly the 
manner in which the German municipalities are re- 
sponding to the most serious of all the responsibilities 
that they recognize. The conception now entertained 
in Germany of the community's duty toward the 
child, is a broader one than that which prevails in 
our American cities. The struggle for existence is 
more difficult in Germany than in America, though 
perhaps not harsher and probably less fiercely compe- 
titive. But at any rate the connection between edu- 



cation and ability to earn a livelihood is far more 
intimate in Germany than here. Every thoughtful 
man in the empire has recognized the fact that the 
industrial and commercial as well as the military and 
political future of Germany depend upon the uni- 
versality of the best kind of education. The German 
cities have been trying to make their school systems 
fit the necessities of their population. They have 
made elementary education universal and compul- 
sory. They have introduced much manual training 
and physical culture into their school courses, and are 
many years in advance of our American cities in 
adapting the quality of instruction to the practical 
ends that common-school education ought to serve. 
In addition, they have amply provided for the higher 
education, showing a preference, however, for schools 
which will furnish Germany with an abundant sup- 
ply of men of special and technical training. Manu- 
facturing cities like Chemnitz promote the develop- 
ment of their principal industries by providing trade 
schools which are adapted in their courses to the in- 
dustrial character of the city or vicinity. The fresh 
and practical character of popular education in Ger- 
man cities owes very much to the fact that in ad- 
dition to the permanent school officials who supervise 
the entire educational system of any given municipal- 
ity there are numerous local school boards upon 
which a great number of competent citizens are asked 
to serve. This service is required upon principles 
similar to those which call citizens of character to the 
work of administering poor-relief. Thus in Berlin 
there are some thousands of reputable citizens who 
are responsibly and intimately connected with the 
city's educational system. Here again we find a safe- 
guard against the mechanical and perfunctory ten- 
dencies of routine officialism. I am sure that, so far 


and liveli- 

Special and 

on school- 





What the 

What the 
less means. 

as elementary education is concerned, our American 
cities have more to learn from the methods and results 
attained by the German cities than we have to teach 
them. Our progress must be along their paths. 

The German citizen is a heavy tax-payer. Even if 
he were relieved from the great burden of imperial 
and State taxation which military exigencies impose 
upon him, his dues to the municipal government 
alone would be formidable enough. Land and houses 
are heavily taxed j the income tax is resorted to for 
municipal as well as for State revenue; and the whole 
population is made to contribute in various ways, 
through indirect imposts upon articles of common 
necessity if not through direct taxes, toward the 
cost of these highly-developed municipal organisms. 
Everywhere and always taxation in any form seems 
a grievance ; and it is not strange that the German 
tax-payer should groan. But the other side of the 
picture is not unpleasant. The German tax-payer 
finds every pfennig of his money well accounted for. 
He sees everywhere about him the beneficent results 
of public expenditure carefully and wisely made. He 
perceives that through his membership in a municipal 
household which makes itself responsible for the well- 
being of the whole community, he is receiving bene- 
fits which, upon the average, are inestimably more 
valuable than any that he could have purchased for 
himself with the money he has had to contribute to 
meet the municipality's housekeeping bills. He is in 
no wise appalled by the nominal fact of large muni- 
cipal indebtedness, because he perceives that almost 
the entire total amount of the municipality's obliga- 
tions is represented by investment in productive en- 
terprises. And these earning departments promise 
not only to pay their own way and repay all that 
they cost, but also give assurance of increasing prof- 


its which may be confidently expected to liquidate CHAP. vi. 
much of the public indebtedness incurred on account 
of such non-productive services as that of free ele- 
mentary education. The German cities possess tan- 
gible municipal property worth at market prices far 
more than their outstanding bonded indebtedness. 
Their financial position is absolutely unassailable. The 

For their indebtedness they have much to exhibit. pa sheet. uco 
Their interest-bearing obligations represent foresight, 
enterprise, business shrewdness, brilliant investment, 
permanent progress in sanitary appliances, and a lift- 
ing of the standards of civilized life. Before criti- 
cizing the German municipal methods too severely, we 
might well analyze our American city debts in order 
to ascertain what investments they represent, and 
what testimony they have to bear concerning the 
thrift, foresight, and wise intelligence that have con- 
trolled our American municipal financiering in the 
past twenty-five years. 



motive in 

THE German cities in their municipal activities 
have not until late years been largely impelled 
by the sanitary motive. They have done wonderful 
things, and have shown a splendid capacity and busi- 
ness thrift. But while the public health has been the 
The sanitary dominant motive in the development of the municipal 
functions of Glasgow and some other of the British 
cities, good financial results have seemed to be the 
chief criterion of success in German municipal gov- 
ernment. The broad generalization is too sweeping, 
yet it is upon the whole a defensible one. While tak- 
ing the lead of all nations in the scientific study of 
the problems of the public health, the Germans have 
not been the most eager people in the world to spend 
millions of money in the application of hygienic prin- 
ciples. Fortunately for them, they have the best sci- 
entific leadership that any country can boast, and at 
the same time they have by far the best administra- 
tive mechanism. All that had been needed, therefore, 
was the motive strong enough to open wide the public 
purse-strings. The last cholera epidemic appears now 
to have supplied it. All over Germany the learned 
doctors and bacteriologists have since 1892 been dic- 
tating terms to the awakened municipal authorities. 

The experience of 1893 made it seem probable that 
the cholera could never again prevail in uncontrol- 


Its awaken- 
ing in Ger- 


lable epidemic form in western Europe or America. CHAP. vn. 
The kindred sciences of bacteriological medicine and conquest of 
public sanitation have, in these last years, grappled 
most brilliantly and effectively with the dreaded mon- 
ster. Berlin, Paris, London, and New York have 
learned that they can hold the cholera firmly in check. 
And now the cities that have suffered most in recent 
years, such as Naples and Hamburg, are prepared to 
meet the scourge on its appearance, and prevent it 
from becoming widely epidemic or from interfering 
seriously with business. The unspeakable fright, 
therefore, which has heretofore attended the outbreak 
of cholera in western Europe and America is likely to 
pass away with the present decade; so that a sporadic 
case now and then will have no paralyzing effect 
upon the environing community. 

It is clearly fortunate, however, that Europe should 
have suffered these recent pangs of awful fear. The 
cholera is a sensational disease. Other maladies, pre- cholera as a 
ventable to a large extent by public hygienic mea- se disease! a 
sures, are far more destructive of life than the cholera. 
But their ravages are more insidious and more com- 
monplace; and the warning cry of sanitary science 
acts tardily and feebly upon municipal purse-strings. 
A high average death-rate, due to bad sanitary con- 
ditions, is not ordinarily seen to disturb the course of 
trade, or to lessen greatly the life-chances of the burgh- 
ers who pay the heavy taxes and control the public 
funds. But a cholera epidemic ruins business, im- 
poverishes the comfortable burghers, and threatens to 
invade their domiciles and rob them of their first-born. Effects of a 
It acts as the effective tenth plague, and the municipal 
Pharaoh bestirs himself mightily. Naples had long 
intended, in a languid way, to reform its sanitary ar- 
rangements, but not until the cholera epidemic of 
1885 supplied the motive force was anything of much 


CHAP. vii. importance undertaken. The improvements set on 
foot as a result of that epidemic have revolutionized 
the city, and will have resulted in the saving of many 
thousands of lives every year ; for the principal effect 
of efforts to guard against cholera is to abolish, or 
Results in S* 68 ^ diminish, mortality from various other causes, 
itaiy. That epidemic at Naples led, further, to the enact- 
ment of a new sanitary code for the Italian kingdom, 
and to many excellent improvements in other Ital- 
ian cities and towns besides Naples. Far more wide- 
spread throughout Europe, however, will have been 
the improved sanitary arrangements resulting from 
in Germany, the cholera invasion of 1892-93. And it is in Ger- 
many, doubtless, that the most important effects will 

Germany's progress in the health administration of 
cities is well illustrated in the reforms which have re- 
cently been accomplished at Hamburg. Between the 
years 1831 and 1873, Hamburg had suffered from four- 
teen visitations of the cholera. In 1892 it experienced 
a terrible cholera epidemic, but its new health methods 
n?w^nfter s y ^ ve & OO( * P rom i se of f uture immunity. I propose, 
m typici s i as therefore, in this chapter to describe Hamburg's sani- 
tary work somewhat in detail, as typical of the new 
national spirit and policy. For it is to Germany 
more than to any other country that the world is in- 
debted for the most important new lessons not only 
in sanitary science, but also in the practical applica- 
tions of new hygienic knowledge to the organized work 
of municipal government. There is very much in 
Hamburg's conditions and in its sanitary plans and un- 
dertakings that ought to interest the intelligent people 
and the officials of our American cities. But it may 
also be well by way of some prefatory paragraphs to 
give an outline sketch of *Hamburg ? s general muni- 
cipal character and governmental structure. Some 



aspects of the political organization of this great sea- CHAP. vn. 
port, Germany's second city, are hardly less worthy of 
attention than its improved health services. 

Let it be said that Hamburg was most unjustly 
treated by the major part of the American press dur- 
ing the summer and autumn of 1892, and that most 
Americans retain an entirely erroneous impression 
concerning the city. Until late years it has been ap- 
preciatively known by comparatively few American 
visitors. Even the travelers who patronize the fine 
steamers of the Hamburg- American Company hurry 
011 to Berlin, and learn nothing of this noble old Free 
Hansa town and magnificent port. In America it has 
been chiefly known as the place from which so many 
undesirable emigrants take shipping, and perhaps for 
that reason it has gained the reputation of being inde- 
scribably filthy, overcrowded, ugly, and uninterest- 
ing a place, in short, to be avoided. No impression 
could be further from the truth. The emigrants go 
from Hamburg for the same reason that they land at 
New York : the one, like the other, is without rival as 
the greatest port of its continent. Ships go every- 
where from Hamburg. Its dock and harbor arrange- 
ments excite the enthusiastic admiration of every in- 
telligent visitor. There is no such sight elsewhere 
in the world. The Liverpool arrangements are far in- 
ferior. Within a few years there has been expended 
by the German Empire and the city of Hamburg a 
sum approaching $40,000,000 in the construction of this 
vast shipping terminal, the modern conveniences of 
which make everything along the New York docks 
seem absurdly effete and obsolete. 

Hamburg is externally a more attractive and pic- Hamburg 
turesque city than Berlin. The dull and somewhat 
cheap monotony of the huge new imperial capital is 
almost painful after a few days of Hamburg's variety 


an attractive 




Its streets 
and prome- 

Position as a 

and charm. The city's architecture combines the 
modern with the medieval in the most delightfully 
unexpected ways. Many whole streets of the high- 
gabled, timber-framed, quaint-windowed houses of 
the old sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Hanseatic 
merchants remain in good condition 5 and yet the city 
as a whole is distinctly modern in its architecture. A 
great portion of its central area was swept by the 
historic conflagration of May, 1842, and there fol- 
lowed a rebuilding with regularized streets and mod- 
ern structures. Far from being hopelessly congested 
and void of breathing-spaces, there are a number of 
tree-lined thoroughfares much broader than are to be 
found in leading American cities, while in the very 
heart of the city there are large water spaces and 
park areas, with extensive girdling promenades, and 
every facility for healthful outdoor recreation. These 
pleasure-grounds take the place of the old fortifica- 
tions that had occupied a wide belt about the inner 
city. A dignified and splendid city is Hamburg, with 
its 600,000 inhabitants, its immense commerce with all 
parts of the world, its unusually intelligent merchant 
body, its suburbs of handsome villas, its modern 
growth and enterprise, and its fine traditions and 
history that bind it to a noble past. 

Hamburg holds a political position which the city 
of New York might well envy. It is a city-state, and 
it has a government exactly adapted to its conditions. 
There is no meddlesome provincial government or de- 
partmental prefect to hold the Hamburg administra- 
tion in tutelage, nor any separate and superior national 
executive or parliament to order its police affairs, 
supervise its finances, or legislate touching its consti- 
tution or any of its chartered powers. Hamburg is a 
constituent member of the German imperial confed- 
eration, just as Rhode Island is a member of the sis- 
terhood of American States. And, like Rhode Island, 


it is for domestic purposes a sovereign republic. The CHAP. vn. 
citizen of Providence, Rhode Island, however, finds 
himself subject to the threefold authority of a muni- 
cipal government, a county government, and a State 
government. His municipal affairs are constantly 
under discussion in the State legislature, which at 
every session enacts numerous special laws dealing with 
the administration of Providence. But the Hamburg Le islature 
government is one and indivisible. The law-making ^J^gf^. 
body is at once a State legislature and a city council, identical. 
The executive organization fits the circumstances of 
a city-state. It is true that Hamburg is not wholly 
urban. Considered as a state, it holds a domain of 
158 square miles, an area slightly smaller than that 
of Chicago, while Hamburg considered as a city 
comprises (by the new legislation of June, 1894) 7665 
hectares, or 30 square miles. But whereas the city 
had 600,000 inhabitants at the beginning of 1895, all 
the rest of the territory possessed only 50,000 (in round 
figures), a large part of whom were in suburbs adja- 
cent to the town. The domain of the Hamburg state 
is not all contiguous, a part of it lying at the mouth 
of the Elbe estuary, about 75 miles distant, with 
Cuxhaven as its port. But it may be estimated that 
a hundred or more square miles, or two thirds of 
the Hamburg territory, lie on the north bank of 
the Elbe within easy reach of the city, and consti- 
tute a domain about equal to the joint contiguous 
areas of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The outlying 
parts (landbezirk) are grouped in four landherrenschaf- 
ten, or districts for local administrative purposes, and tive system. 
minor rural affairs are managed by a further subdi- 
vision into nearly forty communes or petty townships. 
But the main interests of the whole area belonging 
to Hamburg are administered and controlled by the 
central government, which also administers directly, 
on its own behalf, all the affairs of the city. 




the govern- 
ment in 



and election 

of the"Biir- 


This central government is a somewhat complex 
structure, yet it is simple enough in its essential fea- 
tures. In the broad facts of a large elective council 
and a permanent executive magistracy, the Hamburg 
government is analogous to those of other German 
cities. The Hamburg system has marks of its own, 
however, growing out of the many-centuried and 
eyentful history of Hamburg as a Free City a lead- 
ing member of that glorious Hanseatic League which 
dominated the Baltic and North Sea commerce of the 
middle ages, and which led in the struggle against 
feudalism of those new forces, gathering in the com- 
mercial and industrial towns, that were destined to 
usher in the modern order of things. Thus Hamburg 
as a city-state of the earlier period, when cities had so 
distinct a part to play, brings down to our new period 
of special and distinct significance for great towns 
much of its tradition of municipal greatness and 
power, and much transmitted capacity for a well- 
ordered town life. 

The Free and Hansa City of Hamburg (Freie und 
Hanse-Stadt Hamburg), as the republic is officially 
designated, governs itself primarily through a House 
of Burgesses (BUrgerschaft) composed of 160 mem- 
bers. Half of the body, 80 members, is elected by 
the equal suffrage of all male tax-paying citizens. 
Since taxes are due from everybody, only paupers 
or floating elements of population are disfranchised. 
The other half, however, is not so popularly elected. 
Forty members are chosen by the ballots of the 
house-owners of the city of Hamburg, and 40 by a 
special electorate made up in a somewhat elaborate 
fashion of judges and some other specified dignitaries 
of state, and of the members of certain guilds and 
corporate bodies. The Biirgerschaft as a whole thus 
represents the general citizenship on the one hand, 



and the property and commercial interests on the 
other. Hamburg is peculiarly a city of merchants; 
and the men concerned with business in the harbor 
or in the Bourse give the town its administrative 
character and policy, and wield the weightiest influ- 
ence in the Biirgerschaft. The burgesses are elected 
for six-year terms, and half of the body is renewed 
every three years. Acceptance and service are re- 
quired by law of those whom their fellow Hamburgers 
elect to the Burgerschaf t. 

Executive control of Hamburg's affairs is vested in 
a body of eighteen senators, elected for life by the 
Biirgerschaft. Nine of these senators must have been 
educated either as lawyers or financiers, finance 
(cameralwissenschaft) being a distinct science and 
profession in Germany. Seven of the remaining nine 
must belong to the body of Hamburg merchants 
(kaufmannschaff). A senator may not decline to 
accept the responsibility if chosen, but he may retire 
at the end of six years if he does not wish to serve out 
his life term. It is evident that the Hamburg Senate, 
while in many respects analogous to the magistracy 
of a city like Berlin, is a body of somewhat different 
character and traditions. It is less technical in its 
quality and more like the upper house of a general 
law-making body. It is not a group of highly salaried 
civil servants, but rather a board selected from the 
most competent and distinguished of the classes of 
citizens who give Hamburg its character as a great 
financial and mercantile center. In many matters the 
Biirgerschaft and Senate act together. The Senate 
selects from its own membership, for two-year terms, 
a burgomaster and a deputy burgomaster, one of 
whom presides over its deliberations. The Senate 
usually formulates matters of legislation, and submits 
its proposals to the burgesses, who are the constitu- 



A govern- 
ment domi- 
nated by 

The Senate 
of eighteen. 

Character of 
the body. 

The burgo- 






Senate and 


The working 





tional law-enacting body. The Senate has a revisory 
and veto power, which, however, it cannot exercise in 
matters of revenue and taxation. Deadlocks between 
the two bodies are determined by a joint arbitration 
board ; or, as a last resort when constitutional ques- 
tions are involved, an appeal may be taken to the 
Supreme Court of the German Empire, which sits at 
Leipsic. The burgesses maintain a standing commit- 
tee of twenty members whose duty it is to observe the 
whole course of administration and report to the full 

The several bureaus of administration are organized 
and carried on under the Senate's direction, with a 
senator as the presiding head of each bureau. The 
Biirgerschaf t and Senate coftperate in the appointment 
of citizen members of each administrative board. For 
example, the sanitary administration is under the di- 
rection of a board of health known as the Medicinal- 
Collegium, over which Senator Dr. Hachmann presides. 
Under control of this Collegium are the salaried di- 
rectors of the various branches of the health work. 
Another senator presides over the Ban-Deputation 
(Board of Construction or Public Works), which has 
under its care the whole oversight of building opera- 
tions, whether above ground or below, and which 
employs chief engineers, architects, chief inspectors, 
etc. The Polizei-BeMrde (Police Authority) forms an- 
other bureau of administration, with a wide range of 
duties and with control of the active police force. 
Then one finds an educational administration, pre- 
sided over by a senator and securing the cooperation 
of competent citizen members of elementary- and 
high-school boards. There is an Armen-Deputation 
(Charity Board) similarly organized, through which re- 
lief work, such as I have described as pertaining to the 
Berlin municipality, is carried on. A Gefangniss-De- 



putation (Prison Board) has charge of penal adminis- 
tration, a Quai-Verwaltung and a Hafen-Verwaltung 
(Quay and Harbor Administrations) have control of 
various matters pertaining to the docks, harbor, and 
quays, a Friedhofs-Deputation (Cemetery Board) man- 
ages the municipal burying-grounds, and various other 
administrative boards, organized and working under 
the Senate's auspices and with a senator at their head, 
have charge of other governmental undertakings. 
Most important of all, perhaps, is the Finanz-Deputa- 
tion, which administers the finances of the city-state. 

Here, then, one finds municipal home-rule in the 
fullest sense of the term, with no limitations whatever. 
Though attached by federal bonds to a monarchical 
empire, the chief members of which are four king- 
doms, Hamburg is as unqualifiedly republican in its 
government as any Swiss canton or American State. 
It may change its constitution whenever it likes (a 
thorough revision was made in 1860, important 
changes were again accomplished in 1879, and minor 
ones were brought about in 1894) without consulting 
any external or superior authority. Such complete 
independence, of course, grows out of the fact that 
Hamburg is a state as well as a city ; and however 
desirable a large measure of municipal autonomy 
might be for every other urban community, it is man- 
ifest that the state must preserve its sovereignty. 
It would be fortunate for a few cities, however, and 
particularly for the city of New York, if they could 
be erected into separate states, with a general law- 
making body of their own which would also perform 
the functions of a city council. The Hamburg consti- 
tution, with certain changes to suit the different cir- 
cumstances, could be applied to the Greater New York 
with immense benefit to all the city's interests. 

It should be remarked that Hamburg's position as 


other de- 


A position 

that New 

York might 



CHAP. vir. a city-state and a sovereign republic is not unique in 

TWO other Germany, but remains the fortunate heritage of two 
ot ^ er cities, viz., Bremen and Lubeck. Frankfort-on- 
the-Main was also a free city until 1866, when it was 
annexed to Prussia. The free city of Bremen possesses 
a domain of 99 square miles, although the town itself 
Bremen and comprises only 10 square miles ; and of a total pop- 

1S ment. rn ulation approaching 200,000, nearly three fourths 
are found living inside the small city district. But, 
as in the case of Hamburg, the one central gov- 
ernment suffices for city and state. Bremen's Biir- 
gerschaft is a body of 150 members, of whom 14 
are chosen by the class of citizens who have had a 
university education, that is to say, by the mem- 
bers of the learned professions, 42 are chosen by the 
enrolled merchants, 22 are chosen by the mechanics 
and manufacturing employees, and the remaining 
72 by all the other taxpayers of Bremen, most of 
whom are unskilled workmen. The Senate, which 
as in Hamburg's case is the body controlling execu- 
tive affairs, has 16 members, of whom 10 must be 
lawyers. The principal tasks of administration are 
assigned to 12 so-called ministries, over each of which 
a senator presides, and these are organized much 
after the fashion of the departments or executive 
boards of Hamburg. The "Free and Hansa City of 

The Free Liibeck" is the third of these German city-states, and 
its organization is very similar to Hamburg's, al- 
though simpler in the fact that the House of Bur- 
gesses (120 members) is elected wholly by the equal 
votes of all the citizens, with no class preferences of 
any kind. The 14 senators are chosen for life, and 
their body must contain at least 6 lawyers and 5 
merchants. Administrative organization is similar to 
that of Hamburg. Liibeck's whole domain includes 
115 square miles, the town comprising about 12 



square miles, with seven eighths of the total popula- 
tion. The town itself at the beginning of 1895 had 
nearly 70,000 people, the number having doubled 
since 1870; and the rural districts contained a sta- 
tionary population of 10,000 or 12,000. 

These three German free cities enjoy the advan- 
tages of a superb management of their financial in- 
terests by their ablest citizens. The debt of Bremen 
is nearly 100,000,000 marks a large sum for such 
a city ; but it represents investment in the magnifi- 
cent harbor improvements and railway terminal fa- 
cilities, and in the other advantageous public works, 
to which Bremen owes its general prosperity as the 
second German seaport, and as a great focus of inter- 
national trade. The Hamburg debt in 1894 somewhat 
exceeded 327,000,000 marks. The recent harbor im- 
provements account for a considerable proportion of 
the amount, while other needful and advantageous 
public works readily explain and fully justify all the 
rest of it. 

Hamburg's very life has been the great river Elbe. 
But the Elbe, which has been its commercial main- 
stay, has brought death as well as life. The river 
has always supplied the city with water for drinking 
and domestic uses, and its unwholesomeness had long 
been fully confessed. But many things prevented, 
until recently, the firm attempt to solve the para- 
mount sanitary problem of the city's drinking-water. 
Early in the seventies an elaborate investigation re- 
sulted in a report advising the filtration of the entire 
Elbe supply. But opposition arose, the discussion 
was protracted, and nothing was done. The inclusion 
of Hamburg in the new German Empire, and its ac- 
cession at last to the German customs-union, led to 
the concentration of the municipal energy upon the 
development of the port facilities. The abandonment 



Finances of 
Bremen and 

The Elbe 
and the 

ment of the 



The new fil- 
tration sys- 

CHAP. vii. of Hamburg's status as an independent port, and its 
inclusion in the tariff system of Germany, took prac- 
tical effect in 1888, and the influence upon the city's 
traffic and growth was both immediate and very im- 
portant. Meanwhile, the scientific consideration of 
the water-supply had not been altogether suspended, 
and the city's enhanced importance furnished a new 
reason for action. 

In 1890 it was actually determined to proceed at 
once with the construction of an extensive plant for 
the filtration of a supply of Elbe water equal to the 
entire demand upon the water system for all purposes. 
Expert investigations, with reinvestigations and all 
sorts of cross-examinations, had resulted in a plan 
that was adopted with confidence. It was pronounced 
feasible by the municipal engineers to have the filtra- 
tion plant ready for use in 1894. The cholera emer- 
gency led to prodigious efforts, and the new system 
was put into operation in May, 1893, nearly a year 
ahead of time. 

The last seventy-five miles of the Elbe form an estu- 
ary of the North Sea, and the tidal movement up as far 
as Hamburg is considerable, amounting to several feet 
on the seaward side of the city. The Elbe flows north- 
ward; and the old waterworks were situated on the 
southern edge of the city, the intention being that the 
water should be pumped from a point in the stream 
that lay above the brackish and polluting influences 
of the flood tide. The intake was in the middle of the 
river, just opposite the large pumping-station, high 
water-tower, and adjoining reservoirs which consti- 
tuted the old waterworks that served the whole city. 
As a matter of fact, the intake was not far enough 
up-stream to escape serious contamination from the 
recession, at flood tide, of the polluted water of the 
harbor and lower stream. 

ply of Elbe 



One must remember that the Elbe carries off the 
entire sewage of Hamburg; and that the stupendous 
aggregation of ships, of wharves and warehouses, and 
of manufacturing establishments makes the water of 
the port about as filthy as possible. The sewer system 
of Hamburg is by no means a bad one. The houses 
are all connected with well-built street-mains, which 
empty into several large collecteurs, or sewage-canals. 
These principal conduits in turn converge and join in 
one huge discharging sewer-tunnel, which is carried 
well out into the channel of the river, and empties 
at the lower edge of the city. The discharge is 
dammed in and held back during the hours of inflow- 
ing tide, so that the main harbor, and the numerous 
branching navigable fleete or canals, that make Ham- 
burg something like Venice, may not be fouled and 
gradually filled up by subsidence from the immense 
volume of liquid filth. The sewer-gates are opened 
only when the ebbing of the tide joins with the ordi- 
nary flow of the river to give a sweeping current out 
to sea. This, at least, is a far better arrangement for 
sewage disposal than certain American cities lying on 
tidal water possess, which dispense with collecteurs 
entirely, and discharge their sewage at numerous 
points all along the river frontage. 

But it is far from being a perfect system. For al- 
though the Elbe estuary is a broad stream, the cities 
of Hamburg and Altona have become so great that 
the combined volume of their refuse material is enor- 
mous ; and the plan of discharging at ebb tide alone 
cannot wholly prevent the subsequent backflow of 
pollution from the sewers. Quite apart from any and 
all local sources of contamination at Hamburg, the 
Elbe water, is by no means pure, for the river drains 
a populous valley, and has many large towns and 
villages on its banks. Hamburg ought long ago to 


The sewers 
of Hamburg. 

Sewage dis- 
charged at 
ebb of tide. 

tion of the 



The new 

CHAP. vii. have extended its intake far enough upstream to 
make perfectly sure that its citizens would not re- 
ceive again through their water-pipes the fouled ef- 
fluent of their drains. But at the time of the cholera 
visitation of 1892 the old intake was still in. use, and 
was undoubtedly within the sphere, at flood tide, of 
harbor refuse and city sewage. An essential feature 
of the new water system, therefore, has been the ex- 
tension of the receiving-tunnel up the river to a point 
some miles above the now abandoned intake. This 
work involved very large expenditure, since the new 
tunnel had to be constructed under the bottom of the 

The filtration system, however, is the interesting 
feature of the new Hamburg water-supply. It is by 
far the largest and most successful "plant" for the 
removal of impurities from drinking-water that any 
city has yet instituted. It happens that Hamburg is 
so situated that it is practically compelled to draw its 
water-supply from the river. There are no mountain 
sources accessible. Naples, like Vienna and Munich 
and Glasgow, has been able to secure abundant water 
from high and uncontaminated mountain regions. 
But Hamburg lies in the lowlands, at the mouth of 
a broad valley. We have a number of cities in the 
United States that seem to be under the necessity 
for all time of drawing their water-supplies from the 
much-polluted rivers on the banks of which they are 
situated. For these cities the question of an effec- 
tive method of filtration has the very highest conse- 
quence. From Minneapolis to New Orleans the cities 
of the Mississippi Valley are concerned. If the Elbe 
and the Rhine can be completely filtered, there ileed 
be little question about American rivers. 

A general description of the Hamburg system can 
easily be given. The city was fortunate in owning 

of river 


two large islands in the Elbe, which have been con- CHAP. vn. 
nected by a narrow embankment, and which extend 
from a point near the old waterworks up-stream for The mtra- 
a distance of about two miles. The uppermost of 
these islands, the Bill warder Insel, is the larger of the 
two. Somewhat further up the river is the new intake, 
with its well screened and guarded opening. The re- 
ceiving-tunnel is perhaps ten feet in diameter. On 
this upper island have been constructed four large 
reservoirs, or sedimentary basins, as it might be bet- 
ter to call them, each of which has a capacity approxi- 
mately equal to the supply of the city for one day. 
A new pumping-plant on the island lifts the water 
into these basins. The four are used in rotation. It ment basins. 
has been found by experiment that the best results 
are attained by allowing the water to stand undis- 
turbed for about twenty-one hours. Sluices and 
valves enable the basins to be used separately and 
successively. Thus, while Basin I. is engaged in feed- 
ing the filters that supply the city, Basin II. is full 
and closed for a day's deposit of sediment, Basin III. 
is being pumped full from the intake, and Basin IV., 
which is quite empty, is in process of being scraped 
and cleansed. When Basin I. ? s supply has been drawn 
off, it in turn is closed for removal of sediment, Basin 
II. is put into connection with the filters, Basin III. is 
full and closed, and Basin IV., having been cleaned 
out, is again receiving a supply from the river. And 
so the rotation is complete. Each of these sedimen- 
tary basins has a superficial area of perhaps 25 acres. 
The screens at the intake mouth of course keep out 
all large extraneous objects. The settling process in 
the great basins further disposes of fine sand, and of 
very much of the mud and silt that discolor the water 
as originally received. But from the hygienic point 
of view, it is obvious that nothing of very radical im- 



The filter- 

CHAP. vii. portance has been gained by the mere fact of a day's 
rest in a settling-basin. It is in the filtering-basins 
that the revolutionizing results are attained. 

The lower island, the Kalte Hofe, lying just above 
the old waterworks on the east bank of the Elbe, at 
the Eothenburg suburb, presents a sight best seen 
from the top of the waterworks tower, and one quite 
worth the climb of 365 steps. One looks down upon 
an island perhaps three fourths of a mile long and 
one fourth of a mile wide, the greater part of which 
is covered with even rows of rectangular basins, each 
of which has a surface of 7500 square meters, or 
about two acres. There are 22 of these open filter- 
basins. To describe their mechanism in detail would 
involve engineering technicalities. It will be enough 
to tell in a general way how they are made and how 
they work. In principle they are not original. Sand 
filtration has been in use to some extent for many 
years. Altona, the flourishing manufacturing city of 
150,000 inhabitants that lies solidly against Hamburg 
on the side toward the sea and is virtually part and 
parcel of the larger city, had for 30 years used sand 
filtration to make Elbe water potable. Berlin also 
filters through sand-lined basins a considerable part 
of its drinking-water. The London water companies 
have made successful use of the same system, and 
other cities have had some experience of this mode 
of water purification. The Hamburg plant on the 
Kalte Hofe is notable, therefore, not for the intro- 
duction of a new principle, but rather for the utili- 
zation of an old principle in a far more complete and 
successful working-plant than any other city has yet 
established, and for exact and novel demonstrations 
concerning the action of the filters upon disease 
germs such as were wholly unprecedented and are of 
inestimable value. 




tion of 

The filter-basins on the Kalte Hof e, like the large CHAP. VIL 
sedimentary basins on the Billwarder Insel, are con- 
structed with the utmost care, being lined very solidly 
with clay, concrete, hard brick masonry, and cement 
plaster. Across the floor of each filter-basin are 
many large pipes perforated with countless holes. 
The basin itself being ready, and the punctured pipes 
being in place, the process of filling begins. First 
comes a layer of small, well-selected stones, covering 
the floor to a depth of about eight inches. Then is 
spread, to a like depth, a layer of gravel that is, of 
stones smaller than those forming the bottom stratum, 
but much coarser than the layer of coarse sand, also 
eight inches deep, that is next placed above it. Upon 
these three foundation layers is deposited the princi- 
pal material of the filter, namely, a layer of fine sand, 
one meter (nearly forty inches) deep. When the filter 
is in use, the water stands exactly one meter deep on 
the meter of fine sand. Ingenious automatic regula- 
tors so control the inflow and outflow as to keep the 
water at an unvarying depth of one meter. It would 
be superfluous to attempt a detailed explanation of 
the admirable adjustment of all the parts of the wa- 
ter system to one another. It is enough to say that 
the pumping facilities are well adapted to the re- 
quirements of the sedimentary basins, that the filter- 
basins are nicely adjusted to receive and dispose of 
the quantity discharged from the Billwarder Insel, 
and that the arrangements of the old water-station 
on the mainland at the Eothenburgs-ort are fully 
equal to the reception of the purified effluent of the 
filters, and its distribution throughout the entire city. 

It must not be supposed that this system, when once 
established, needs no further care or attention. The 
filters are all under constant inspection, and one by 
one they are cut off temporarily from active service 

of the va- 
rious parts. 




the filters. 

Sifting out 

A matter 
of precise 

in order to be emptied into the river and cleansed. 
Adjacent to the group of filter-basins is an establish- 
ment fitted up with facilities for cleansing the sand 
and small stones. Ordinarily, it is found quite suffi- 
cient to remove a few inches of the fine sand for pu- 
rification, leaving the rest of the filter undisturbed. It 
is not, indeed, desirable to take away all the deposits 
that the sand retains from the water as it trickles 
through. A certain amount of " scum " must be col- 
lected before the filter is at its best. It must be re- 
membered that the chief purpose of the filter is the re- 
moval of microbes, whose existence can be ascertained 
only by bacteriological tests. These bacilli are so 
minute as we laymen are assured by the learned 
scientists that myriads of them would not feel 
themselves crowded on the point of the finest needle. 
A bed of ordinary sand and gravel could therefore 
hardly be expected to filter out the microbes as if they 
were so many crawfishes. The bacteriologists tell us 
that it is the scum, collecting on the sand and filling 
the interstices between the stony particles, that some- 
how manages to detain the microbes while the water 
passes on purified and wholesome. 

Let no one suppose that this is a mere matter of 
conjecture, or of an occasional test with dubious re- 
sults. The effect of the Hamburg filtration upon the 
bacteriological condition of the Elbe water is a subject 
of constant examination and precise knowledge. The 
whole system, during and after the summer of 1893, 
was operated with reference to the fact that the Elbe 
had been discovered to contain cholera germs, and that 
Hamburg proposed to give its people a water free 
from those germs. To this end, a municipal bacteri- 
ological laboratory was established, and to its director 
was accorded an almost dictatorial authority. At the 
time of the epidemic in 1892, the distinguished author- 


ity Professor Gaffky, of the University of Giessen, CHAP.VII. 
came to Hamburg to assume temporary charge of san- 
itary arrangements. He brought with him from Gies- 
sen, as his assistant, and left behind him in control of 
the new Hygienic Institute, a young American bacte- 
riologist, Professor Dunbar. Dr. Dunbar very rapidly 
and effectively developed the Hamburg municipal 
laboratory into one of the most important in the 
world, and gave it a practical relationship to health 
conditions that the authorities of Hamburg could not 
fail to recognize. Dr. Koch came later from Berlin, on 
behalf of the imperial government, to aid and advise 
in the struggle to subdue the epidemic, and he was 
surprised and delighted to discover the rare scientific 
quality and the comprehensive scope of the work Dr. 
Dunbar had already accomplished. Dr. Koch there- 
upon acquiesced very heartily in the proposal that Dr. 
Dunbar should be given the permanent post of direc- 
tor of the Hamburg Institute, and thus made the 
authoritative expert in control of the health condi- 
tions of the principal German port and the first com- 
mercial city of the Continent. Dr. Dunbar is a native 
of St. Paul, Minn. ; and when he went to Germany, 
some years ago, at the age of twenty-one, he could 
speak English only. In order to accept the official 
post he now holds, he was obliged to become natural- 
ized as a German citizen. 

Dr. Dunbar commands the services of a staff of ex- 
pert assistants, and his Institute conducts many exper- 
iments of extraordinary interest. A new method for 
the discovery of cholera germs in water was devised 
by him and accepted by Dr. Koch and the other bac- cholera 
teriologists as a great improvement. During the sum- 
mer and autumn of 1893, the Hamburg Institute tested 
the Elbe water from day to day, the specimens being 
taken from widely separated points, and found chol- 


CHAP. vii. era germs all the way from the mouth to places far in 
the interior of Germany. Dr. Dunbar seems to have 
succeeded in proving effectually what has hitherto 
been much doubted and denied that cholera is prop- 
agated by means of water rather than air. 

In the filthy water brought up to Hamburg by the 
flood tide Dr. Dunbar and his group of experts were 
Remarkable quite regularly finding from 30,000 to 100,000 cholera 
germs to each cubic centimeter (about one sixteenth of 
a cubic inch) of water. As many germs were found 
in the season of 1893 as in the previous year, although 
Hamburg was kept almost free from fresh outbreaks 
of cholera. The water of the river above the influence 
of flood tide was found to contain from 400 to 1200 
germs. In July, 1893, the imperial health authorities 
at Berlin issued a warning to the municipal govern- 
ments of the country not to supply their citizens with 
a drinking-water containing more than 100 cholera 
germs to the cubic centimeter. It was considered that 
water infected to no greater extent could be used with- 
out serious danger. It is highly instructive, therefore, 
to note the fact that the purified water of the new 
Hamburg filtration- works, as examined from filter to 
filter and from day to day, was found sometimes to 
contain no germs at all, and more commonly to con- 
tain from four to ten germs per cubic centimeter. 
Only by the most refined methods, never employed 
until the summer of 1893, could these few scattered 
germs be discovered, isolated, and accurately counted. 

Here, then, is the great triumph of the Hamburg 
filtration-works. The citizens know absolutely that 
the new system has given them a safe supply, and feel 
that science is now equal to any emergency that may 
arise. The purified Elbe water is used for all city 
purposes, including street-washing, lawn- and garden- 
sprinkling, and sewer-flushing. It is of excellent 


quality for all industrial purposes, and as a drinking- CHAP. vn. 
water it is agreeable as well as safe. 

An indirect evidence that the cholera epidemic was 
induced through the use of Elbe water was furnished Use of wells 
by the fact that the parts of Hamburg which use wells in Hamburg. 
instead of the river-supply were almost or 'quite ex- 
empt from the disease. There are perhaps 800 or 
1000 wells in use within the city limits. On general 
health principles wells are to be condemned, and their 
extermination by most city governments has been fully 
justified; but, as a choice of evils, the Hamburg wells 
were better than the unfiltered river-water, and so 
they were tolerated. Some of the large breweries 
have very productive artesian wells. At the time of 
the epidemic their water was piped to many neighbor- 
ing houses, and the service was af terward continued. 
At that time also, in the fall of 1892, more than a hun- 
dred new " driven " wells were made ; but many of 
them could not be used, on account of the mineral 
constituents of the water. A part of the work of Dr. 
Dunbar's Hygienic Institute, in the fall of 1893, was 
the thorough examination and testing of all the wells 
of the city. The health authorities were, of course, 
empowered to close all wells found to be yielding un- 
wholesome water. 

The Hygienic Institute has a branch laboratory, 
with every needed convenience, immediately adjacent 
to the filtration- works ; and one of the large filters is 
used exclusively for the Institute's tests and experi- 
ments. One of Dr. Dunbar's chief assistantsis stationed 
constantly at the waterworks. There has been con- 
structed for Dr. Dunbar^s use, upon plans of his own, 
a novel steam craft, to ply on the Elbe as a floating laboratory. 
bacteriological laboratory. The boat is about forty 
feet in length, and its remarkable equipment will 
make it possible to study far more fully than has yet 




Expert sani- 
tary know- 
ledge as a 
good invest- 

A demon- 
stration in 

been done the actual extent and nature of the influence 
of flood tide in the Elbe, and also to give frequent at- 
tention to the health conditions of the great stream in 
its upper courses. All these new projects and devices 
will have cost a good deal of money j but shrewd, 
commercial Hamburg has come to the conclusion that 
improved sanitary services are a highly profitable in- 
vestment, and that it would be as unwise to spend 
large sums upon such services without expert scientific 
direction and experimentation as to erect public build- 
ings without good architects, or invest heavily in docks 
and harbor facilities without the aid of civil engineers. 
Dr. Dunbar is evidently determined to make the largest 
possible use of the city government's new impulses to- 
ward the generous support of hygienic inquiry and 

The circumstances under which cholera again ap- 
peared in Hamburg about the middle of September, 
1893, only serve to illustrate the value both of the fil- 
tration-works and of the Hygienic Institute. Tests 
made at that time showed the alarming increase of 
germs in the filtered water as conveyed for consump- 
tion. It was further discovered that the water was 
pure as it left the filters, and that the contamination 
was the result of a bad leakage from the Elbe into the 
tunnel which conveys the supply from the Kalte Hof e 
to the pumping-works on the mainland. The leak was 
at last suppressed, but, unfortunately, a number of 
cases of illness and death occurred, clearly traceable 
in origin to this infusion of unfiltered water into the 
purified Supply. The fact that Hamburg had been 
exempt from cholera all summer, while the river was 
laden with such deadly infection, speaks volumes for 
the filtered water which had been in use since May ; 
and the prompt discovery of the leakage was a new 
demonstration of the practical usefulness of an efficient 


bacteriological laboratory. The Hygienic Institute, CHAP. VIL 
meanwhile, does not exist solely to fight cholera epi- General use- 
demics. Bacteriology has various services to perform tfo Hygiene 
constantly in the aid of the health authorities of cities. Instltute - 
It can turn its attention from one form of infectious 
disease to another, and can help in many ways to 
promote wholesome conditions in general. 

I have already commented upon Hamburg's sewers 
and its disposal of sewage. It remains to speak 
somewhat of the scavenging and cleansing of the 
city. The cholera outbreak seems to have resulted cleansing 
in a vast increase of energy in the conduct of the 
work. Street-cleansing, under the general control of 
the police authorities, is managed upon a good system 
with admirable effect. No American city, so far as I 
am aware, can compare at all favorably with maligned 
Hamburg in the matter of clean streets. Good pav- 
ing is the rule, and this of course facilitates the con- 
stant washings and sweepings to which the streets are 
subjected. Asphalt and smoothly laid square stone 
blocks are the prevailing material of the street sur- 
face. Besides the thorough night cleansings, there is 
a day force of sweepers regularly at work on the prin- 
cipal thoroughfares to remove horse manure, etc., quite 
in the approved manner of Paris and Berlin. Every 
main street has its entire and radical cleansing as often Effective 
as once in twenty-four hours, and all other streets, no street work * 
matter how quiet and little used, are carefully swept 
and cleansed several times a week. The sprinkling in 
summer is no less thorough, while in winter the re- 
moval of snow and ice is so efficient and prompt as to 
be noteworthy. In all details the public cleansing and 
street maintenance have been vastly improved since 
1892, with the deliberate sanitary motive. 

The city also laid energetic hands upon the question 
of the disposal of domestic refuse. Garbage had Garbage - 



CHAP. vii. hitherto been carted out and dumped upon land in 
the vicinity of the city, some kinds of refuse, however, 
being carried out to sea in barges. Since 1893 the 
garbage has been burned, large municipal crematories 
having been constructed. There is no reason why 

Disposal of Hamburg should not establish a factory, such as one 
refuse. fl n( j s fa var i ous European cities, for the preparation of 
a marketable fertilizer and other salable commodities, 
from the collected garbage, street-sweepings, ashes, 
and waste material in general of so great a city. This 
will probably be done in the early future. 

The fright to which the cholera subjected the popu- 
lation has been of inestimable aid to the sanitary police 
in their efforts to compel the people to maintain do- 
mestic cleanliness. There remain in Hamburg many 
Housing of the very narrow, badly lighted streets of the middle 

conditions. ft g eg ^ w ^ sma ll-windowed old houses, ill arranged 
for subdivision into tenement apartments and for the 
occupancy of numerous families. Obviously, it is no 
easy task to keep these streets free from conditions 
favorable to the spread of infection. But a wonder- 
ful improvement has been made, under rigidly en- 
forced sanitary regulations, in the average wholesome- 
ness of domestic life among the working-people. The 
whole code of regulations concerning the building and 
occupancy of houses could not well be revised in a day 
as an emergency measure, for too many far-reaching 
considerations were involved. The Hamburg building 
code had been made over in 1882 ; but now it was per- 
ceived that its thorough remodeling would be ne- 
cessary, with a view to many sanitary improvements. 

Reform of Some ref orms, however, could not be delayed ; and in 

the iaws ding April, 1893, a series of brief amendments to the build- 
ing code of 1882 was adopted, to remain effective 
until a deliberate treatment of the entire subject could 
be had. The size and form of interior court areas 


were prescribed, with stricter insistence than before CHAP. vn. 
upon opportunities for light and air. Sanitary plumb- 
ing arrangements in tenement-houses were explicitly 
required. Most important of all, the occupancy of 
cellars and basements for residence purposes was 
made subject to greatly needed regulations. The 
census of 1890 had shown that 36,542 people in Ham- ceiiardweii- 
burg were living in cellar dwellings 6 per cent. Hamburg. 
of the total population. In 1885 the number had 
been 31,381. Special attention had been called dur- 
ing the cholera season to the extraordinarily high 
rate of mortality in these damp subterranean abodes. 
To abolish cellar dwellings peremptorily and immedi- 
ately in a city like Hamburg is, unfortunately, a prac- 
tical impossibility. Even in Berlin, with its enli ghtened 
sarfltary rules and methods, there were 117,702 cellar 
occupants in 1890, 7 per cent, of the entire mass of compared 
Berliners ; and Altona, which is actually a contiguous ai A?tona! 
part of the Hamburg metropolis, afforded nothing 
better than cellar homes for 8.7 per cent, of its people. 
Of cellar residences it is always to be understood, how- 
ever, that some are much worse than others. It is the 
object of recent sanitary enactments in Europe to pro- 
hibit the residential use of the worst classes of cellars. 
Thus the new Hamburg rules prohibit the occupancy of The new 
cellars under houses that do not front upon the street. H ruies! rg 
Cellars in the low parts of the town near the Elbe 
and other waterways must not be inhabited. For- 
merly cellars of considerable depth and very badly 
lighted were to some extent occupied for living pur- 
poses. But the rule of April, 1893, declares that the 
cellar floor must not be more than one meter (about 3 
feet and 4 inches) below the level of the surrounding 
ground, while special provisions are also made for the 
best possible admission of light and prevention of 
damp floors. These regulations apply to cellars and 






for isolating 




basements that are used for workrooms or domestic 
kitchens, as well as to those that are occupied as 
dwellings; and iu all such cases there must be a 
sewer in the adjoining street, with which proper con- 
nections have been made. 

Apart from the cellar residences, the overcrowding 
of families in one-room apartments remains a serious 
evil in Hamburg, and one that will call for future 
legislation. But the average housing conditions tend 
to improve very visibly. 

The epidemic of 1892 found Hamburg ill prepared 
with facilities for the isolation of cases, and for the 
disinfection of contaminated articles and houses. Or- 
dinary hospitals had to be used for cholera patients, 
and extra accommodations had to be provided by 
means of hastily erected emergency barracks in all 
parts of the town. Meanwhile, a vast new epidemic 
hospital on the pavilion plan was projected, and it is 
now completed and in working order. It is one of 
the largest and best appointed hospitals for infectious 
diseases to be found anywhere ; and it will play an 
important part in the future suppression, at the very 
outset, of threatened epidemics. Urgent necessity, 
moreover, led to the organization of an excellent 
transport service for the removal of patients from 
their homes to the hospitals; and this has been put 
upon a permanent basis with very superior appliances. 
It will be found as useful in helping to check the 
spread of other maladies as in times of cholera out- 

The disinfection stations, also, are a new feature 
of Hamburg's sanitary administration, and they are 
excellent specimens of establishments of that sort. 
Two central ones were fitted up in existing buildings 
adapted for the purpose, while a much larger and 
more complete one has since been made ready for 


use. They are equipped with large ovens for the CHAP. vn. 
disiufection by heat of bedding, clothing, draperies, 
carpets, etc., and have facilities for the detention and 
personal disinfection and cleansing of the unattacked 
members of a family whose house is undergoing dis- 
infection after the stricken members have been re- 
moved to hospital or to cemetery. The disinfection 
station is headquarters for the closed vans that are The staff of 
sent to remove persons and infected articles, and also 
for the disinfection officials whose task it is to take 
charge of a house and put it in good sanitary con- 
dition. Each one of these officers is supplied with a 
compact, portable metallic box, in which there is a 
curiously complete collection of scrubbing-brushes, 
chemicals, and implements and devices for the thor- 
ough cleansing of a condemned habitation. 

Food examination lies within the scope of Dr. Dun- Foo(lins ec . 
bar's municipal laboratory, and a staff of assistants is ti011 - 
steadily engaged in this branch of the work, which 
has taken on some important developments. The 
milk-supply of Hamburg, in particular, has now been 
brought under the close municipal oversight that is 
so desirable in all large towns, a very elaborate law 
to that end having been enacted in April, 1894, after overseeing 
more than a year's inquiry and deliberation. Nothing supply. 
could better illustrate the deliberate and permanent 
nature of the new sanitary activity of the Hamburg 
authorities than the manner in which they have dealt 
with this question of the regulation of the traffic in 
milk. Undoubtedly, under present conditions, the 
importance to a city population of a pure and whole- 
some milk-supply is surpassed only by the importance 
of a pure and wholesome water-supply. The new 533?$ 
rules begin at the very source of supply, regulating new rules - 
the care of cows on the farms, requiring cleanliness 
in the stables, ordaining that the milker's hands must 




required in 

CHAP. vii. always be washed as well as the cow's udder, and in 
other details fixing a standard none too fastidious 
yet altogether novel to the average dairyman. The 
standards for specific gravity and for percentage of 
cream are rigidly fixed, and the penalties for watering 
or other adulteration are severe and certain. The 
cleanliness of the milk-shops and utensils of distribu- 
tion in the city are as carefully prescribed as the con- 
ditions on the dairy farms. The general result can 
but be visible in the improved health of the Hamburg 

A more novel but for a German city hardly less 
desirable sanitary intervention is embodied in the 
rules issued by the police authorities of Hamburg 
in August, 1894, regarding the sanitary condition of 
the apparatus used in public-houses and refreshment 
places which keep beer on draught, and also in the 
minute prescription of rules for the cleansing of the 
vessels from which the guests of such houses drink 
their beer or other beverages. The German bacteri- 
ologists had discovered a real source of danger in the 
transmission of disease germs by means of imper- 
fectly washed beer glasses, mugs, and pewters ; and 
Hamburg now prescribes a daily scalding and scour- 
ing, besides the rinsing with pure running water after 
each emptying of the vessel. Do these seem trivial 
matters, beneath the dignity of the public authorities 
of a great city? The wisest men think otherwise. 
They know of no better possible use to make of the 
police power of government than to prevent the 
transmission of deadly disease germs in places of 
public resort through culpable negligence of enlight- 
ened health rules. It is quite as permissible a police 
function to see that beer-venders keep their glasses 
clean as to prevent brawling and violence in the 
streets and in practice a far more important one to 

A new use 
for the po- 
lice .power. 



og fag C the ng " 

ernment - 

ca tory? 

the social well-being. Of course I use the term po- CHAP. vn. 
lice function in its broad sense. Bacteriology is fast Bacterioi 
changing the practical character of the tasks of inter- 
vention that have to be exercised in the name of the 
police authority of the state, as it supplies us with 
new knowledge; so that Hamburg now concerns 
itself with seeing that dairymen wash their hands 
before milking, and that saloon-keepers scour their 
tankards, while the sanitary inspector and the disin- 
fection officer are more important by far than the 
night-watchman or the ordinary patrolman. 

There had been a chemical laboratory for public 
purposes under the police authority of Hamburg for a 
long time; but this was metamorphosed into the Hy- 
gienic Institute in 1892. It has since been found con- 
venient to create a new chemical laboratory, with 
commodious quarters in the City Hall, to relieve the 
Hygienic Institute of the many hundreds of ordinary 
tests and analyses that the business of food inspection 
requires. The special and critical inquiries, involving 
more difficult processes, are undertaken by the Hy- 
gienic Institute; while the chemists who have their 
station in the Town Hall cooperate constantly in the 
daily work of the officers of food inspection who are 
busy in the markets, in the great new municipal abat- 
toirs, in the milk-shops, in the beer-halls and drinking- 
places, and wherever articles of food and drink are 
sold to the Hamburg public. 

In the spring of 1893, as a part of the new health 
system of the Hamburg authorities, there was estab- 
lished a harbor sanitary service, with a chief medical 
officer, assistant physicians, and a staff of inspectors. 
Steam and naphtha launches were provided, and an 
active examination was begun of the health conditions 
of all the ships and floating craft, that came into the 
port. The inquiry included the health of persons on 

The harbor 





New rules 
for practice 
of medicine. 

ments for 
in aid of pub- 
lic health. 

board and the cleanliness and sanitary arrangements 
of the vessels. In the year 1893 there were made to 
sea-going ships not less than 22,640 visits, and to river 
and canal craft 42,867 visits, the aggregate number of 
persons on board being 468,000, the whole number of 
people being added for each examination made. Apart 
from the discovery each year of some hundreds of 
cases of illness requiring removal to hospital, this new 
harbor health service is making itself particularly 
valuable by reason of its successful efforts to improve 
the sanitary conditions of emigrant-carrying passen- 
ger ships, of the quarters occupied by the crews of 
freighting vessels, and of the inland craft which pro- 
vide the only home of thousands of families. 

Finally, in January, 1895, there came into force a 
new Arzte-Ordnung, a code of rules and regulations 
touching the practice of medicine in Hamburg, and 
defining the duties of the entire medical profession 
with respect to the report of cases of infectious and 
contagious diseases, of deaths, and of births, and 
otherwise bringing the private practitioners into rela- 
tions of more efficient cooperation with the public 
health authorities. These regulations are of an ad- 
vanced character, involving some new methods, and 
their benefits will be felt in many directions. The 
scheme, among other things, requires the medical 
practitioners of Hamburg to form themselves into a 
body and elect a Chamber of Physicians (Arzte-Kam- 
mer) composed of fifteen members. This Chamber 
will appoint three of its members to represent it in 
the Medicinal-Collegium (the public Board of Health). 
The Chamber will also deliberate and advise when 
questions are submitted to it by the health authorities, 
and in various ways will bring its expert knowledge 
and ability to the service of the public adminis- 


It is as yet quite too soon to attempt a conclusive pre- CHAP. vn. 
sentation, in the form of vital statistics, of the results 
of Hamburg's new sanitary regime. But the evidence 
afforded by a comparison of the death-rate is highly 
significant, and it would have an importance even sen- 
sational in its character if the improvement it indicates 
should, happily, continue permanently. It would 
seem that the death-rate has declined fully 20 per * " 
cent, from the average of the preceding decade, since 
the extraordinary precautions of the cholera summer 
of 1892 were put into effect. It is not to be forgotten 
that a great epidemic almost always sweeps away so 
many very old, very young, and otherwise specially 
susceptible persons that a subsequent lowering of the 
death-rate would result without any aid from better 
hygienic surroundings. But when due allowance is 
made for this very important factor, it would still 
seem reasonable to attribute a considerable part of 
the reduced death-rate of Hamburg to the city's im- 
proved sanitary condition. Taking the period of thirty 
years from 1865 to 1895, Hamburg's average death- 
rate has declined from 30 or more per 1000 per annum 
to 20 or less. And this has been accomplished in the 
face of a very rapid growth of population, a develop- 
ment of the port as a great international rendezvous, 
and the rise of an enormous emigration movement 
which has assembled at Hamburg about a million per- 
sons per decade, many of them ill-conditioned Russian Encouraging 
peasants. There will remain much to be done in the 
future, particularly in the improvement of the hous- 
ing conditions of the poorest third of the population. 
But with hygienic science pointing the way to prac- 
tical reform, there will be no retrogression, but rather 
a constant progress. 



Vienna's re- 
since 1860. 



What Chi- 
cago might 
have done. 

IF comparisons were not of so little meaning unless 
supported by ample and precise details, I should 
be tempted to assert that the metamorphosis of Vienna 
since 1860 has been more remarkable in its extent and 
completeness than that of any other important capital 
or great commercial town of Europe or of the world. 
From the point of view of commerce and private en- 
terprise, certainly the rebuilding of Chicago and its 
general progress since the great fire of 1871 would 
have precedence. But when organized municipal and 
social advancement as well as physical transformation 
and expansion are considered, Vienna would seem on 
many accounts to be the world's most notable example 
of a splendidly appointed metropolis rapidly evolved 
through the adoption of modern ideas and principles. 
If the municipality of Chicago, after the fire, had 
purchased the whole tract that had been swept clear 
of buildings, and had proceeded to lay out an ade- 
quate central district, with suitable spaces for public 
buildings, with parkways and public gardens, with a 
broad inner boulevard circle or ring-street, and with 
a series of avenues radiating from the ring-street 
like spokes from a hub, it would have been entirely 
feasible to sell the available building sites front- 
ing on this ideal system of central open spaces and 
main distributing arteries for sums large enough to 



repay the entire outlay, and perhaps also to erect a CHAP.VIII. 
few monumental buildings on the grounds reserved 
for public edifices. Chicago's glimpse of architectu- 
ral glories came with the transient structures that 
made up the " White City * of the Columbian Exhibi- The lesson of 
tion. But on the tabula rasa of 1871 there might e city/ 
have been reserved at the very core of the city a zone 
of garden spaces in which, gradually, a series of mu- 
nicipal, county, State, and national edifices could have 
been erected, together with such monumental struc- 
tures as private beneficence or citizens 7 associations 
might choose to build for libraries, science and art 
museums, special educational purposes, auditoriums, 
academies of music, or commercial exchanges. Since 
the marvelous creations of 1892-93, Chicago has had 
a clear comprehension of the magnificent effects that 
may be produced as the result of a large initial plan 
which arranges public edifices with reference to their 
relations to one another and their general surround- 
ings. Chicago is inevitably creating its series of 
monumental public edifices; but they can never be 
effectively grouped, with a due environment of open tered. 
spaces and park effects, as they might easily have 
been if the strenuous conditions of 1871 had permitted 
the exercise of a wise forethought, or even if the con- 
temporary experiences and policies of the great Eu- 
ropean towns had been half understood or appreciated 
in America. The great fire of London had come too 
early by several generations ; and the modern art of 
city-making played little part in the reconstruction. 
But Chicago had the greatest opportunity that has 
come to any city of magnitude in our times, and that 
opportunity was not improved. The next best op- 
portunity that has come to any modern city fell to 
the lot of Vienna; and it is the chief part of my task 
in this chapter to tell in a summary way how effec- 



Vienna the 
result of gov- 

CHAP, vin, tively that opportunity was seized, and how won- 
drously the city has been transformed through the 
many-sided impulse to progressive undertakings that 
grew out of the plans adopted for building the new 
metropolis. I would not for a moment disparage the 
new Chicago, that marvelous product of private ini- 
tiative and commercial energy. Yet the contrast it 
makes when compared with the new Vienna which 
owes its character wholly to governmental and mu- 
nicipal policy, direction, and vigor is for my pur- 
poses too instructive to be ignored. It would be gra- 
tuitous to offer much censure or praise in the case of 
either city. One is great chiefly through the agency 
of its governmental organs. The other is great through 
the indomitable force of its private citizens as indi- 
viduals or in various associated capacities. Each 
has manifested its own genius. But it is evident 
that Chicago would have been the gainer if it could 
have borrowed some of Vienna's genius for munici- 
pal action. 

It was the political upheaval of 1848 and the events 
immediately following that prepared the way for the 
new order of things in Vienna. The medieval muni- 
cipal liberties had long been lost, and the citizens were 
practically without voice in the management of their 
town affairs. But with the accession of the young 
monarch Francis Joseph I. to the imperial throne of 
Austria in 1848, a new era dawned. The country was 
granted a liberal constitution. Vienna was named in 
that constitution as the seat of government and the 
residence city of the sovereign. This act was soon 
followed by the gift to the city of a municipal con- 
stitution which reestablished the local autonomy on 
a broader basis than any of the medieval charters 
had afforded, this new constitution being embodied 
in an imperial statute of March, 1850. It was not, 

The era of 


however, until after 1860 that the new municipal gov- CHAP. vin. 
ernment entered upon a fully organized career. It Municipal 
engaged the interest and secured the zealous service 8el m^nt? rn 
of the best men in the professional and commercial 
life of the city, and they have brought its ordinary 
administration to a high state of efficiency, while 
carrying out extraordinary undertakings with the 
most brilliant success. 

It must not be supposed that municipal self- 
government for Vienna has ever meant any such 
thing as universal suffrage. A tax-paying qualiftca- Thetax . pay . 
tion has always excluded the great mass of common in ^ n * fl " 
laborers. The minimum, which had previously been 
higher, was in 1885 reduced to five florins. This limi- 
tation, together with that which requires that voters 
shall be twenty-four years old, admits to the munici- 
pal suffrage about one person in twenty-five of the 
population, and excludes more than three-fourths of 
the adult men. Thus the Vienna electorate is a body 
of about sixty thousand voters. Regardless of tax-pay- 
ing, the law admits various classes of citizens by 
virtue of their professions and occupations. First, 
however, comes the list of men who hold the tradi- 
tional " burgher right " of Vienna a distinction that 
no longer carries with it much practical significance. 
By virtue of their callings are admitted : (1) the clergy Educated 
and all religious teachers; (2) high officials, active or men enrolled. 
retired, of the empire, the province, or the city ; (3) 
military officers and certain others connected with the 
army ; (4) lawyers, doctors, and pharmacists who have 
been duly graduated; (5) civil engineers, architects, 
and other graduates of technical and special high 
schools; (6) professors and schoolmasters of all 
ranks. These personages, together with the citizens 
who pay at least five florins of direct taxes, make up 
the body of voters. But even this select body about 




The three- 
class system. 

Method of 

terms, arid 
renewal by 


sixty thousand men out of a total population ap- 
proaching a million and a half is subdivided into 
three classes of very unequal membership, though of 
equal power. The first class is composed of the tax- 
payers who pay a tax of at least 200 florins, the second 
class includes those whose tax payment is not less 
than 30 florins, and to the third class belong all the 
other voters. This Austrian plan does not produce so 
great an inequality among voters as the Prussian sys- 
tem, which gives a third of the power to the men who 
pay a third of the taxes. But it makes the vote of a 
member of the first class worth three times as much 
as that of a second-class voter, and nearly nine times 
that of a voter of the third class. 

Thus, assuming that the Vienna electoral rolls con- 
tain 60,000 names, we may in round figures estimate 
4500 as in the first class, 14,500 in the second, and 41,000 
in the third. Vienna is divided into nineteen perma- 
nent districts bezirken which bear an important 
relation to the carrying out of all administrative work, 
and which are also election districts. The voters of 
each class in a given bezirk are enrolled as a separate 
wahlkorper, or voting body. Each wahlkOrper directly 
elects its own share of the members of the municipal 
council. The Vienna council is a body of 138 mem- 
bers ; and to each bezirk is assigned a number of rep- 
resentatives that is divisible by three. Councilors are 
elected for six years, and one third of the body is re- 
newed every two years. Thus, a bezirk which is en- 
titled to nine members will have three places to fill 
at every biennial election, and the voters of each wahl- 
korper will elect one member. The three bodies vote 
on different days. For example, in a recent election 
the third-class voters in each bezirk chose their coun- 
cilors on October 22, the second-class voters assem- 
bled on October 25, and the first-class voters concluded 


the election on October 29. It cannot be said that CHAP. vin. 
this three-class system commends itself seriously to Three-class 

, , i * TT t i -i A arrangement 

the people of Vienna, and some day a democratic wave not ap- 

ii -i. TJ. j. -i -i J.T proved. 

will sweep it away. It is not approved even by those 
Who belong to the two higher categories; but the 
state has been unwilling to grant the municipality so 
democratic a measure as a uniform suffrage for local 
purposes, because there would inevitably ensue an 
agitation for electoral reform and equal suffrage in 
elections to the Landtag of Lower Austria and the 
imperial Reichsrath. 

The electors of one class in Vienna not infrequently 
choose as their representative in the council some 
citizen of their bezirk who belongs to another class ; 
and thus the threefold division does not make the character of 

... . . i j. i Vienna coun- 

municipal government as aristocratic as might be ciiore. 
supposed. If, however, one cares to use the word 
aristocratic in its original and etymological sense, it 
may fairly be applied to the municipal parliament of 
Vienna, for the gemeindesrath of 138 members is a 
body of citizens possessing, upon the average, a very 
superior qualification for their public duties. As in 
the Berlin council, some of its members are university 
professors political economists, publicists, or scien- 
tists of eminence ; and, as in the London county coun- 
cil, some are statesmen of national or international 
repute. But the majority are business men. The 
council is a deliberative body, in full control of the 
general affairs of the city, including its finances and 
all its plans and policies. Its sessions are frequent 
and open to the public, and its members are not paid. 
It carries on its work through standing committees, 
as is usual with such bodies. 

Its business is largely influenced and directed, how- 
ever, by the burgomaster, who is its presiding officer Burgomaster 

j i_ -L j.i_ i . andassist- 

and is chosen by the council from among its own ants. 



CHAP. vni. 

rath ' " 

lv acyf s 

Vienna sys- 

position of 
fch mastCT." 

members for a term of six years. A first and a second 
vice-burgomaster are also named for three-year terms. 
Further than this, the council selects twenty-two of 
its members who with the burgomaster and the two 
vice-burgomasters form a stadtrath of twenty-five 
members. This smaller body is in effect a large stand- 
ing committee of the full council whose business it is 
to carry on the administration in matters of practical 
detail. Thus while the full council creates offices to 
be filled, the smaller stadtrath selects the appointees. 
It reports everything that it does to the large body, 
and the burgomaster is always its leading spirit. 

The executive work of the municipality is carried 
on by the expert permanent officials who constitute 
the salaried department chiefs and are collectively 
known as the magistracy. The burgomaster stands 
at the head of the civil service, and the magistrates, 
as in the cities of Germany, form a magisterial coun- 
cil under his direction. But this body has less initia- 
tive than the magistracy of Berlin or the other Ger- 
man cities, and it concerns itself rather with efficient 
executive work than with questions of municipal 
policy. Thus the Vienna system with some modifi- 
cations might readily be adopted in England or Amer- 
* ca > w h ereas the Prussian system could only with 
dififtcu % be adjusted to the conditions of the English- 
speaking countries. In England the aldermanic ele- 
ment of a town council could assume the duties of 
the Vienna stadtrath on a moment's notice ; while 
the town clerk, the medical health officer, the bor- 
ough surveyor (chief of the public- works department), 
and the other important officials and superintendents 
of departments would form a magisterial corps under 
the mayor's direction. The Vienna burgomaster, like 
the mayor of a French town, is the real head of the 
local administration, and is a personage of executive 




authority, in which respect he differs from the English CHAP. vnr. 
mayor. But, on the other hand, he is not a profes- 
sional civil servant like the burgomaster of a German 
city, but rather a citizen magistrate, first elected to 
the council by his fellow-voters, and then made bur- 
gomaster by his fellow-councilors. He is provided 
with a residence in the City Hall while he holds the 
post, and is remunerated to whatever extent the coun- 
cil may choose to vote him allowances, the office not 
being a salaried one. 

Before 1890 Vienna consisted of ten districts or be- 
zirken. In that year a great suburban belt was an- 
nexed, and a rearrangement of the divisions was 
made. There are now nineteen. The constitution 
of Vienna attaches a high importance to these dis- 
tricts, and their boundaries can be altered only by an 
act of the Austrian parliament. In the opening 
chapter of this volume I have commented upon the 
advantages of the permanent arrondissements of Paris 
for the purpose of localizing administrative work and 
bringing the more common functions of municipal 
government as near as possible to the people. The 
bezirk in Vienna is still more strongly marked and 
individualized than the arrondissement in Paris. Each 
division has a bezirJcsausschuss (district board), con- 
sisting of eighteen members elected for six years, each 
of the three classes of voters in the district choosing 
six members. Each district board chooses a chair- 
man or superintendent. The board has not a wide 
range of discretion or authority; nevertheless it is 
useful in many ways. It concerns itself with the ef- 
ficiency of municipal work in its district, and affords 
an influential means through which the needs of a 
particular locality may find expression. The burgo- 
master has the right of the floor in all the district 
boards, and members of the stadtrath often attend 


lstratlon - 



CHAP. VIIL the local meetings. There are municipal buildings in 
the different districts, in which are maintained the 
branch offices of various public services and executive 

It would not be easy to give in brief outline the 
principal features of local and municipal government 
for Austria in general, because each Landtag or Diet of 
3S?X " tlie sixteen provinces which make up the Austrian half 
^ ^ e Austro-Hungarian monarchy is competent to 

g 7aws? ent create its own system. Thus the Diet at Prague con- 
trols the Bohemian system, and the legislature which 
meets at Briinn has exclusive authority over the local- 
government arrangements of Moravia. The provinces 
as a rule have established systems which classify com- 
munes by their population and provide uniform in- 
stitutions. Lower Austria makes an exception of 
Lower Vienna, which requires special legislation from time 
system, to time. But apart from one or two other towns 
which have special charters, all the localities of 
Lower Austria are subject to the rules of the general 
municipal code, which provides for the election of 
councils and grants a very considerable measure of 
local home-rule. It is sufficient for present purposes, 
so far as Austria is concerned, to devote our attention 
to the municipal structure and achievements of Vienna. 
When Francis Joseph, then eighteen years old, came 
to the throne in 1848 and took up his residence at Vi- 
enna, he found his capital in a most uncomfortable 

Vienna and plight. The town itself where the royal establish- 
nients were located, where the nobility and all the 
principal people lived, and where all the business of 
Vienna was transacted occupied a space of about one 
square mile. It was surrounded by massive old forti- 
fications, and outside the walls lay a broad and deep 
moat, beyond which extended a belt of glacis ground, 
kept clear of buildings on military considerations. 


On the outskirts of this military zone were thirty or CHAP. vm. 
forty forlorn villages which were beginning to grow ^e 

_ i i A ^ n suburban 

together and to form a continuous mass of mean villages. 
houses and they were the worst-appointed suburban 
neighborhoods to be found almost anywhere in Eu- 
rope. Francis Joseph's municipal constitution of 
1850, to which I have already referred, united these 
suburbs with the inner city and consolidated them 
into seven permanent wards or bezirken, the old city 
forming a separate bezirk. Subsequently a rearrange- Extension of 
ment increased the number of bezirken to ten, and 
since the extension of boundaries accomplished in 
1890, an outer ring of nine additional bezirken has 
been added. The new boundary line as fixed by 
Francis Joseph in the earlier period of annexation 
was an outer ring of military defenses that had been 
created in the eighteenth century. 

For several decades it had been felt that the inner 
fortifications were opposing a most vexatious and 
harmful barrier to traffic and intercourse. The gate- 
ways were infrequent and wholly inadequate. Popu- congestion 
lation and commerce had been growing fast, and W1 waiis? ie 
rentals for the limited accommodations inside the 
walls were becoming enormous. Every available foot 
of ground was built upon, new stories were added to 
old buildings, retail trade was compelled to find upper 
floors, and population was compacted in an intolerable 
manner. Under existing circumstances nobody would 
live in the suburbs who could live inside the old city ; 
and only one remedy for the situation was possible. 
A long discussion ended in the memorable order 
signed by the emperor on December 20, 1857, for the 
destruction of the fortifications. 

The whole community now rose to the height of the 
great occasion. Vienna was the most inconvenient, 
Hi-regulated, and unimposing capital in all Europe. 


CHAP. viii. It had now an opportunity to become perhaps the very 
Vienna's handsomest and most convenient. Paris had been 


opportunity, hampered by the fact that its new avenues mast in 
great part be cut through solidly built areas, that 
its chief architectural monuments were already built 
or located, and that it could not apply its art of 
modern city-making upon a swept area. But Vienna 
possessed in the broad encircling belt of walls, moat, 
and glacis an area greater than that of the entire inner 
city. That which had obstructed communication be- 
tween the heart of the metropolis and the outlying 
members was now to facilitate it. The walls were to 
be removed, the moat filled up, and the space thus 
gained, together with the broad glacis belt, was to be 
laid off in streets, building sites, and public gardens in 
such a manner as to make intercourse between the 
central and the outer districts as free as possible. 
The whole arrangement was planned systematically; 

A system- an( * in the two or three years that were required for 

atic plan, demolition and the clearing and leveling of the zone, 
the most talented landscapists and architects of the 
day were engaged upon competitive plans for the final 
laying out of the ground. One might easily make a 
long story of this stadt-erweiterung project; but it 
must suffice here to present the summary results. 
The central feature of the plans that were adopted was 

The Ring- a great encircling street, the so-called Riiig-strasse. It 
strasse. j s j n f ac {. a p O iyg 0n rather than a circle that the Ring- 
strasse describes, its angles which are not entirely 
regular giving it an octagonal appearance. Upon 
this broad and elaborately constructed thoroughfare 
was made to front a series of gardens and open park 
spaces ; and roomy sites were reserved for a number 
of great public buildings. The ground that remained 
was laid off in regular cross streets and parallel streets, 
and building sites were sold to private purchasers. 



After some preliminary difficulty touching matters of 
detail, there was generous cooperation between the 
imperial and the municipal governments in the great 
task of transforming Vienna; but the particular 
scheme known as the stadt-erweiterung was taken in 
hand and administered by a commission appointed by 
the emperor and accountable to the central govern- 
ment. The fortifications themselves were unquestion- 
ably the property of the general government, although 
there was room for a difference of view concerning the 
reversionary title to the glacis ground. In any case the 
city council argued that street plans and improvements 
were properly a municipal function, and that the busi- 
ness should be delegated to the city authorities. The 
emperor, however, was firm, and the council yielded 

Everybody in Vienna has long ago admitted the 
wisdom of the emperor's policy. He saw clearly that 
the best service he could render the city authorities 
themselves would be to relieve them of responsibility 
for the special and extraordinary task of constructing 
the new zone, in order that they might be free to de- 
vote their energies to a hundred other important 
tasks which needed concurrent attention. The prestige 
of the imperial commission, moreover, made it easily 
possible to carry out a liberal policy which the town 
council could hardly have ventured to pursue. The 
land comprised in the cleared zone was so valuable 
that it might have seemed extravagant on the part of 
an elected citizens 7 body to devote so much of it to or- 
namental and unproductive public purposes. Ill is not 
conceivable that the gemeindesrath would have been 
able to agree upon so splendid a plan as that of the 
imperial commission. But a more niggardly plan 
would have been a less successful financial policy in 
the end. It was simply the emperor's object to make 



The project 

by imperial 

A wise 

Town coun- 
cil could not 
have adopted 
so liberal 
a plan. 


CHAP. viii. the improvement scheme self-sustaining, on as magnif- 
icent a scale as possible. About four fifths of the en- 
tire area was retained for public uses, and the remain- 
Fund from ing one fifth was sold as building sites to private 

sale of build- _ j_i_,i -L *. j. j - 

ing sites, purchasers for a sum that has been stated in round 
figures at 200,000,000 florins about $80,000,000. Out 
of that fund the commission made new streets and 
sewers and proceeded to erect a series of public build- 
ings which with those built by the city and other 
public authorities on sites provided by the commission 
now render the Vienna Eing-strasse the most im- 
posing street in the world. Such a sum would not 
build many Albany capitols, New York court-houses, 
or Philadelphia city halls 5 but public buildings are 
less expensive in Austria. Eighty million dollars is 
a vast sum in Vienna; and when expended upon pub- 
lic edifices and their artistic adornment with the en- 
lightened taste, constructive skill, and administrative 
honesty and thrift which characterize that city, noble 
Harmonious results might well be expected. The architectural 
results, character of all private construction upon the erweiter- 
ungs-grund was strictly regulated in the interest of har- 
mony, and nothing mars the symmetry of the whole, 
or detracts from the effect of sumptuousness and mag- 

The new monumental structures facing upon the 
The great R&g-strasse include the Rathhaus (city hall), a sur- 
^umcntB P ass i n >ty beautiful specimen of the modern Gothic, 
on strasse ing " P ene< * 1885; the Austrian parliament buildings, 
in pure Grecian style, opened in 1883 ; the main build- 
ing of the University of Vienna, a magnificent Renais- 
sance structure, completed in 1884; the royal theater, 
unequaled in Europe, and opened in 1888 ; the Votive 
church, finished about 1870; the palace of justice, 
opened in 1882; the imperial museums of art and 
science, two magnificent Renaissance buildings, opened 



since 1890, between which, with ample space for effect, 
is the colossal monument to Maria Theresa ; the new 
imperial palace, not yet finished ; the imperial opera- 
house, finished before 1870; various palaces, museums, 
art schools, garrison and arsenal buildings, and showy 
structures for commercial-exchange or other business 
purposes. The Ring-strasse has been criticized as 
grouping together too many magnificent structures 
in different styles of architecture, the individual build- 
ings thus failing to produce the full impression they 
might convey if more entirely isolated. I am not 
disposed to think that the facts justify the criticism, 
in view of the generous garden spaces which give each 
great structure an ample approach. But it is not 
with questions of pure taste in architecture that this 
particular survey of the new Vienna is concerned. 
It is enough for me to remark that the beautiful Ring- 
strasse, nearly two hundred feet wide, is lined with 
the most imposing array of modern structures to be 
found anywhere in the world, although the street was 
not opened until 1865. 

The magical transformation that the erweiterungs- 
fund has been enabled to bring about might well fur- 
nish the land-nationalization advocates with an illus- 
tration of the possibilities that lie dormant in the 
" unearned increment." The little fraction of the old 
fortification- and parade-grounds that the government 
sold to private buyers had apparently sufficed to cover 
the rest of the area with beautiful streets, incomparable 
public edifices, and charming gardens adorned with 
fountains and statues, in which are open-air concerts 
free to all the people, besides refreshment pavilions 
and much else to afford popular entertainment ; and 
still there remain, it is said, some millions of florins 
in the unexhausted erweifcerungs-fund ! It is not true, 
however, that this fund has paid nearly all the bills 



touching the 



The poten- 
tialities of 


CHAP. vin. for Vienna's remaking. The municipal treasury has 
The fund did shared in much of the cost of streets and public works, 
an * ** P a ^ * or *^ e c *ty kail 5 w hile *te imperial Aus- 
trian government and the provincial authorities of 
Lower Austria have also borne the cost of placing 
their own structures upon the sites that the erwei- 
terung project freely assigned them. But the im- 
pulse proceeded, nevertheless, from the imperial pol- 
icy and its shrewd and attractive methods for securing 
cooperation in all directions. 

If the project had only succeeded in arousing the 
municipal, provincial, and national authorities to a 
impetus to I ar 8 e participation in the making of a new metropolis, 
P stmction n " but had not also awakened the enthusiasm and stim- 
ulated the activity of private builders, it would have 
fallen far short of its full purpose. What Vienna 
needed more than monumental edifices was proper 
house-room for its rapidly growing population, and 
accommodation for its merchants and traders. In 
fact the erweiterung improvements gave a tremendous 
impetus to private construction, not only on what was 
known as the erweiterungs-gruud, but also in other 
parts of the city. Several magnificent new suburbs 
were built, in sharp contrast with the prevailing mean- 
ness of the suburban architecture of the previous pe- 
riod. All this building activity was greatly accelerated, 
Remarkable if not chiefly prompted, by laws exempting new houses 
exemption f rom taxation. Thirty years' exemption was granted 
from taxes. erected in the first five years upon the 

erweiterungs-grund, and twenty-five years' was al- 
lowed in case of buildings completed in the next five 
years. These conditions naturally gave an enhanced 
value to the sites that the commission offered for sale, 
and helped to swell the accruing fund. But shorter 
exemptions were also extended to all parts of the 
city, the period being from fifteen to eighteen years, 


according to the promptness with which the work was CHAP. vin. 
taken in hand and accomplished. Prom time to time Extended to 
these encouragements were renewed for the benefit the city. 
of subsequent builders, although the period of ex- 
emption was finally reduced to twelve years. In a 
city like Vienna, where the taxes upon a house are 
expected to amount to about half the rent, such ex- 
emptions constitute a most substantial bonus; and 
inasmuch as the inducement was applied also to any 
considerable enlargement and improvement of houses ^ cit rc _ 
already existing, it may easily be believed that the constructed. 
result was an almost entire reconstruction of the 
city. The situation afforded an opportunity for the 
shifting of population from the interior to the outer 
bezirken, and the commercial structures of the inte- 
rior were very generally rebuilt or improved. On 
the erweiterungs-grund the banking and monetary 
institutions promptly undertook or fostered large 
building operations, and a great number of joint- 
stock building companies began to vie with each 
other in the speculative erection of buildings in all An era of 


parts of Vienna, their shares being listed on the speculation. 
Bourse and bought aiid sold every day. The reac- 
tion came in 1873, when many companies and indi- 
vidual speculators failed. But meanwhile the city 
had been marvelously and permanently altered for 
the better. 

The authorities had made the most exacting regula- 
tions as to the character of new buildings, and 

i_ 1 Stringent 

nowhere else, so far as I am aware, has recent con- building 
struction been so solid and durable. Stone staircases regu a lons ' 
to the very top floor, great strength of walls and 
floor-joists, double fire-walls, good provision for air 
and light, prohibition of garret and cellar residences, 
proper connection with the city's new water-supply 
and new sewers, these and other requirements 


CHAP. viii. having to do with safety and health were joined with 
similarly strict rules regarding street-lines, balconies, 
height and generally harmonious appearance of fa- 
9ades, to make a building law of the most Draco- 
nian description. Now that the city has extended 
its limits very greatly, these building regulations have 
been somewhat modified in their application to the 
smaller class of houses built upon side streets in 
outlying neighborhoods; but they remain stringent. 
A high authority in Vienna has told me that in his 
opinion the building laws are too severe because tend- 
ing to make rents excessively high for poor families. 
But I doubt the correctness of his view, whether as a 
general statement or as a particular Viennese obser- 
vation. If in these chapters on European cities I 
have devoted much space to official demolitions and 
value of the interferences that are involved in a wholesale 

measures? reconstruction by public authorities of the dwellings 
of the people, it is not because these undertakings 
seem to me desirable in themselves. It is to obviate 
the necessity for them that the best possible building 
regulations ought everywhere to be put in force. 
The relief of the inner bezirk from its choked 

Belief of the and congested state, which followed the removal of 

inner city. ^ barriers, the construction of great business blocks 
upon the Ring-strasse and the other new streets, and 
the outflow of trade and population over a widened 
area, made it feasible to reform the tangled street 
system of the " old Vienna." Many of the interior 
thoroughfares were broadened and straightened, new 
paving was laid after the new sewers had been duly 
constructed, and the renovated Innere Stadt entered 
upon a new era of business prosperity. 

The outer street system also was revised and 
improved. The thirty-four gemeinden or village com- 
munities which had been annexed, consolidated, and 



arranged as the nine environing wards or bezirken, 
and which contained four fifths of the population, 
had sprung up originally on the lines of country 
roads approaching the old town; and these several 
haupt-strassen or main roads were now developed into 
great radial thoroughfares, pouring their streams of 
traffic into the broad Ring-strasse, upon which the 
influx could easily be distributed. These roads had 
formerly been almost impassable for the mud in 
winter and the dust in summer ; but they were now 
well paved, well sewered, well lighted, and in all 
respects arranged as convenient highways of commu- 
nication between the center and the suburbs. Per- 
haps no other city of equal size is so conveniently 
appointed as regards the daily movement of popula- 
tion to and from the center as the new Vienna. 
Nearly all important institutions, parliament, law- 
courts, university and other educational establish- 
ments, central post-office, bourse, municipal and 
administrative buildings, imperial establishments, 
officers 7 barracks, chief theaters, caf 6s, and places of 
resort and amusement, with banks and leading 
business establishments, are either in or near the 
Ring-strasse; while the inner district is full of 
business establishments of every character. The 
network of streets in the old town connects at 
perhaps forty points with the Ring, while the series 
of about fifteen main radials extending outward 
(of course these are not geometrically regular), 
draw from the Ring and empty into it as from a 
great receiving and distributing reservoir. Blockades 
and obstruction are practically impossible with this 
street system. 

The street railways do not invade the inner city, 
but all their operations center upon the Ring. The 
incomer on any given spoke is carried along the 


The outlying 
radial thor- 


of Vienna's 

main street 



CHAP. YIII. perimeter of the hub until he reaches the point 
Arrange- nearest his destination, and in like manner when 

inentof . / 

street-rail- returning he enters his car at any point on the 
Ring and is carried around to the desired radial and 
thence outward. There has more recently been built 
a great outer concentric street, the so-called Qiirtel- 
strasse (girdle street), folio win g the line of the boundary 
defenses ; and upon this street there is also operated a 
street-railway line that crosses the radials and forms 
a harmonious part of the general system. With the 
growth of the city, leading up to the annexation 
in 1890 of another wide zone lying beyond the Giirtel- 
strasse, the transit system has been further extended 
to accommodate the half million people in the newer 
There has now been projected by the municipal 

projected authorities a rapid-transit system to consist in part of 

rapid-transit . ., - . , , , . ,. , . , 

system, steam railways and in part of electric lines, which 
will connect the stations of the existing railway lines 
and give the metropolis a service of fast trains 
extending to all its parts. The electric lines will 
cross the inner city at right angles, and there will be 
an inner circuit, with nine or ten stations (running 
parallel with the Ring-strasse, but at a little distance 
outside of it), with about half a dozen lines radiating 
from it, not to mention an outer circuit known as the 
gurtel line. The project includes still other circuit 
and single lines, and the system is to be constructed 
gradually during a period of years, although a 
considerable part of it has been marked for comple- t 
tion before the beginning of 1898. 

The Vienna Tramway Company, which operates 
almost the entire ordinary street-railway system, has a 
franchise that was in 1887 extended to the end of the 
year 1925, in consideration of large money payments to 
the municipal treasury and various agreements favor- 


able to the community. The company runs working- CHAP. vm. 
men's cars morning and evening with reduced fares, ^ eet f ^ 
makes special concessions to school children, provides ja 
transfer or " correspondence" tickets, and arranges 
all its numerous radial lines on a zone system with a 
charge of 5 kreutzers (equal to an English penny or two 
American cents) for each zone. A 10-kreutzer fare 
(equal to 4 cents) pays for a ride regardless of the num- 
ber of zones, and entitles to a transfer ticket for any 
part of Vienna. Four kreutzers (equal to If American 
cents) is the price of a workingman's ride, regardless working- 
of distance, in the special laborers' cars. The public me tickets? ap 
authorities have a voice in the fixing of fares and 
exercise a general oversight. The system as a whole 
is a remarkably complete and symmetrical one, and 
its able management suggests that of Berlin. When 
the municipal rapid-transit system is superadded, 
Vienna will be exceptionally well supplied with means 
of communication. 

The various public works that belong to the period 
of Vienna's reconstruction cannot even be catalogued ^.^ 
in this rapid sketch; but some of the most important terminals. 
should be recounted. This was the era of railway 
building ; and the Austrian state system established 
its terminals, bridged the Danube, and contributed to 
the city's development. One of the largest of the 
municipal undertakings was the improvement of 
Danube navigation. The natural course of the great 
stream as it flows across Lower Austria is through 
extensive marshes, which allow it no well-defined 
banks ; and there are in some places a dozen chan- 
nels winding among low islands which are at times 
completely submerged. Such was the character of 
the Danube in the vicinity of Vienna, where its course 
lay several miles east of the old city, describing an 
outward curve. A vast sum of money was success- 


CHAP. vni. fully expended in cutting a straight new channel 
which brings the river much nearer the city, gives it 
proper depth and definite banks, makes good landing- 
places feasible, and permits the railway system to 
operate a shore-line and to make convenient freight 
transfers with the two hundred steamers and the 
eight hundred great barges operated by the Danube 
Steam Navigation Company. The municipality and 

E metof e " *^ e & enera l government have done everything in their 

commerce, power to promote the railway and shipping interests 
which have their terminals along the new Danube 
channel ; and the town itself maintains, among other 
ventures, a great storage warehouse in which it rents 
space to merchants or other shippers. The Danube 
canal which passes through the heart of the city, and 
the Wein-fluss, a swift stream from the neighboring 
hills, both required the expenditure of large sums 
Bndge *- or srabankments, regulation of flow, and numerous 

bunding, permanent bridges. Several great Danube bridges 
were also built as a part of the city's program of 

Sanitary reforms, meanwhile, went hand in hand 
with schemes for the adornment and the commercial 
development of the city. The greatest of the public- 

The Alpine health projects was that of a new water-supply. 
supply. Vienna was ill supplied with good drinking-water, 
and forms of disease that are propagated by contam- 
inated water were prevalent. Typhus, cholera, and 
other infectious diseases found Vienna peculiarly 
congenial. A magnificent supply of water was intro- 
duced, at the cost of many millions of florins, from 
great springs in the Alps, eighty miles distant. The 
quality of this water is perhaps superior to that which 
any other large city in the world furnishes to its 
people. In the decade 1848-57 the average yearly 
death-rate of Vienna was only a fraction less than 42 


per 1000. The Alpine water was first introduced in CHAP. VIIL 
1873. For the decade from 1878 to 1888 the average Im r(mj 
yearly death-rate was 28.57. This improved showing m^nu^wi- 
was due in no small part to the pure mountain water, 
which has not lent itself to the spread of cholera, 
typhoid, or other disease germs. 

The Alpine water system, however, did not stand 
alone as a sanitary reform. The sewer system was 
thoroughly rearranged, and main drainage-tunnels sewersand 
were constructed by means of which the entire sewage disposal. 
of the city was conveyed to a point below the city and 
there discharged into the Danube. Vienna's hygienic 
and administrative experts have satisfied themselves 
that where a city's sewage can be swept away by a 
large stream like the Danube, no profitable use can be 
made of it for fertilizing the soil. A Berlin or a 
Birmingham must of necessity provide sewage-farms. 
But when a great stream with sufficient current, or the 
adjacent sea, can be made the receptacle, it seems to 
have been everywhere found more economical to throw 
away the manurial elements of sewage than to use 
them. Perhaps this conclusion may be changed by 
future experience or new discoveries. 

Approved methods of sanitary administration were 
introduced, and great hospitals for infectious diseases 
were built. The whole question of food-supply was various 
brought under very active municipal supervision. 
The authorities created great public slaughter-houses 
and cattle-yards, and were soon able not only to make 
it certain that the supply of animal food was in 
wholesome condition, but also to make the price of 
meat much cheaper than it had been. A system of 
municipal wholesale and retail markets was also pro- 
vided, with excellent appointments and with the pur- 
pose of improving the quality and cheapening the 
price of all the staple articles of food required in 


CHAP. vm. Vienna. This series of measures has undoubtedly 
aided in the remarkable improvement that has taken 
place in the general health. The municipal cemetery 
arrangements were modernized and developed. Street 
cleansing and general scavenging were accorded a 
place of dignity and importance in the municipal 
housekeeping. A great establishment was created 
for the healthful and economical disposition of dead 
animals j and it produces fertilizers and various minor 
products, such as glue and plasterers' supplies, the 
whole undertaking being an example of the municipal 
economies that are likely everywhere to assume a 
considerable importance in years to come. Whereas 
the Vienna death-rate before 1860 was above 40 per 
1000, it is now not more than 24. In 1892 it was 24.3, 
in 1893 it had fallen to exactly 24, and in 1894 to 22.8. 
This, as compared with conditions prevailing some 
thirty years earlier, means a saving of more than 
Good effect twenty thousand lives each year, an avoidance (accord- 
measures, ing to the most careful calculations) of probably more 
than six hundred thousand cases of illness, and an 
incalculably valuable conservation of the productive 
and economic as well as the civilizing forces of the 

The new era has witnessed the creation in Vienna 

of a very remarkable educational system, with the 

erection of nearly a hundred large structures in the 

bezirken for purposes of elementary instruction, and 

organization the establishment of a great number of institutions 

OI SCllOOl i i mi 

system, for secondary and special education. There is a gen- 
eral school-board for administrative purposes, partly 
appointed by the municipal authorities and partly 
delegated from the nineteen bezirken school-boards. 
In each bezirk the voters elect a group of school 
directors who serve, with several appointed members, 
upon the neighborhood school-board. The financial 



control of the system is vested in the city council, and 
the burgomaster is at the head of the school adminis- 
tration. But the neighborhood elective boards enlist 
the aid and interest of a large number of citizens, and 
the schools are enthusiastically supported. 

Public charity, also, while centrally organized 
through the regular municipal government, has its 
ordinary and practical work carried out in the several 
bezirken by means of local boards, the members of 
which are in large part directly elected by the voters 
of the district. It will not be necessary to describe 
in detail a system of poor relief and medical aid 
which is marked rather by good organization and 
satisfactory results than by any very novel principles 
or methods. 

I have already intimated that the architectural 
expansion of Vienna was attended and in large part 
caused by a rapid access of population. Between 
1860 and 1890 the number of people within the 
boundaries had grown from 500,000 to 800,000, while 
outside the external line of fortifications a new series 
of suburbs had grown up which in 1890 were found 
to contain nearly half a million inhabitants. Many 
good reasons were adduced why these neighborhoods 
ought to be incorporated with Vienna. The boundary 
lines were accordingly extended to include them; and 
the new municipal area comprises nearly seventy 
square miles, the old limits (before 1890) having 
included only about twenty-one square miles. The 
population of Vienna in 1895 may be conserva- 
tively estimated at 1,500,000. Decentralizing tenden- 
cies in Austria, several periods of severe business 
depression from which recovery has been slow and 
painful, the growth of the Hungarian railway system 
and of Budapest at its center, with other causes that I 
will not attempt to enumerate, have seemed of late 



The work 

of relief and 


Growth of 




CHAP. viii. somewhat to becloud the once brilliant prospects 
of Vienna. It is now clearly evident to my mind that 
if it had not been for the rebuilding of the city and 

The saving its entire transformation under the impulse of the 

feet in the . _, * . 

situation, erweiterungs-project, Vienna would now be in a very 
critical commercial condition, if not in a hopelessly 
disastrous one. But these great reforms, coming at 
a time when a happy conjunction of circumstances 
favored their execution on a bold and courageous 
plan, have given Vienna an assured position that 
no political misfortune or new commercial rivalry can 
take away. 

My praise of the Vienna municipality, and of the 
efficient and intelligent conduct of its affairs, has 
been based upon the unalterable record of its charac- 
ter and its performances during a period of liberal 

Political re- government lasting through nearly a quarter of a 
century. The political reactions of 1894 and 1895 
have made upheavals, the results of which it is too 
early to forecast. The wave of anti-semitism has 
for the moment overwhelmed the liberal majority in 
the municipal council of Vienna, and the antago- 
nisms of race and religion seem to threaten the best 
interests of the school system, and in other ways 
promise to disturb the reasonable and harmonious 
working of the city's administrative departments. 
But I cannot believe that the anti-liberal and anti- 
semite victory of the autumnal municipal campaign 
of 1895, and the new policy thus sanctioned, repre- 
sent the deliberate purpose of the people of Vienna. 

action of 



TO the world at large, Budapest, the capital and 
metropolis of Hungary, is the least known of all 
the important cities of Europe. No other falls so far 
short of the appreciation it merits. Several reasons 
may be assigned for this comparative obscurity; 
among which are remoteness from the chief thorough- 
fares of travel and commerce, the isolation of the 
Magyar language and literature, and the subordination 
of all things Hungarian to the Austrian name and 
fame. But the most important reason is the simplest 
of all: the Budapest of to-day is so new that the 
world has not had time to make its acquaintance. Its 
people justly claim for it the most rapid growth in 
recent years of all the European capitals, and are fond 
of likening its wonderful expansion to that of Chicago 
and other newly-created American cities. 

When Kossuth found refuge in America after Hun- 
gary's tragical struggle for independence, the sister 
towns of Buda and Pest, lying on opposite sides of 
the Danube, together had hardly more than a hun- 
dred thousand people. The consolidated municipality the century. 
had by the census of 1891 a population of more than 
half a million. But remarkable as is the increase of 
population, it seems to me far less remarkable than 
the physical and architectural transformations that 
have accompanied the town's growth in numbers. 



CHAP. ix. Budapest is not merely four or five times as populous 
as it was in the middle of the current century, but it 
has blossomed out of primitive and forlorn conditions 
int'o the full magnificence of a splendidly appointed 
modern metropolis. Rapidly developing cities usually 

a A Shfted kave *^ e misfortune to grow wrongly, through lack 
city. of foresight and wise regulations on the part of the 
governing authorities. Budapest has not wholly 
escaped ; but it would be hard to find another large 
town whose development has been kept so well in 
hand by the authorities, and has been so symmetrical 
and scientific from the point of view of approved city- 
making. In many particulars of appointment, as 
well as in general plan and tout ensemble, American 
cities might learn not a little from Budapest. 

Political reasons have quite as much to do as com- 
mercial causes with the making and unmaking of 
The play of European cities. Thus Vienna, which may well con- 

political , , . ., -p. . ,, , . , ... * , 

forces, test with Pans the claim to preeminence for beauty 
and splendor, owes almost everything, as I have shown 
in the preceding chapter, to the political events that 
followed the revolutionary movements of 1848. Vienna 
became the seat of government of a newly organized 
empire, and acquired a most liberal municipal consti- 
tution. Its prestige grew enormously, and it absorbed 
wealth and population from all parts of the Austrian 
dominions. The imperial government and the mu- 
nicipal authorities vied with one another in projects 
for the embellishment of the capital, the chief of these 
projects being the Bing-strasse and its incomparable 
array of public buildings. Meanwhile Hungary was 
chafing under the disappointment and humiliation of 
defeat, and was making little, if any, progress. But 
the Austro-Prussian war of 1866 humiliated in turn 
the so-called oppressor of Hungary. The Hungarians 
were now in a position to demand all that Eossuth 


and his compatriots had struggled so desperately in CHAP. ix. 
1848 to gain. To the counsel of the Hungarian pa- 
triot and sage Francis De&k, one of the great men of 
modern times, is due the fact that, instead of absolute 
separation from Austria, Hungary accepted the form 
of dual monarchy that has existed since 1868. Hun- 
gary became a constitutional monarchy of the most 
liberal sort, having its own parliament, its own cabi- 
net, its own entire administration, with Budapest as 
capital. The Emperor of Austria became King of 
Hungary. The two parts of the confederation were The dual 
absolutely coordinate. Their military and diplomatic monarchy. 
services were of necessity united like those of a single 
empire ; but the delegations from the two parliaments 
which meet annually to vote the joint budget, and to 
order the joint services, sit in alternate years at 
Vienna and Budapest. It is true that the Emperor's 
ordinary residence is in Vienna, and that Vienna is 
th$ seat of administration of the confederate empire ; 
but the Emperor is careful to spend much of his time, 
with his family and his court, in Hungary. In short, 
politically, the two capitals are as nearly on a par as 
it is possible to make them. 

This change in the political wind had a most sur- 
prising effect upon Budapest. Hungary was at last 
free and self-governing, and in possession of liberal Newlifefor 
institutions. The hopes of 1848 were now to find 
realization. The whole life of the nation was invig- 
orated, and that life centered in the capital. Ambi- 
tious young politicians had no longer to seek a career 
in Vienna. Home rule gave them full scope in Buda- 
pest. Social life was also awakened. The Hungarian 
nobles, who, with every other element in the popula- 
tion of the empire, had been contributing to the 
architectural splendor and social brilliancy of Vienna, 
were now disposed to build their palaces in their own 


CHAP. ix. capital ; for they had acquired seats in the upper house 
A home-rule of the Hungarian parliament, while Vienna was hence- 

capitai. f Qj-tb t b e regarded as their capital hardly more than 
Berlin or Paris. The transformation and embellish- 
ment of Vienna as the sole capital of Francis Joseph's 
dominions had just begun fairly to show results, when 
the new order of things cut those dominions in two 
parts, and made Budapest the rival capital, with 
slightly the larger of the two territorial divisions. It 
is true that Hungary had a smaller population, and 
industrially was far less advanced than the prov- 
inces of which Vienna remained the capital ; but the 
curtailment was obviously detrimental to Vienna in 
many ways. Moreover, Vienna has felt the effects of 
decentralizing tendencies in the provinces remaining 
* h er 5 * or *^ e Bohemians are developing their beau- 
tiful local capital Prague, the Austrian Poles are 
expending their energies upon their own Cracow, the 
Moravians are improving Briinn, the Italians are 
showing preference for Trieste, and other provincial 
centers are beginning to assert themselves. In Hun- 
gary, on the other hand, Budapest has no rivals ; all 

unity of roft ds lead to the capital. There is in Hungary a 

Hungary, compactness and unity that form a marked contrast 
with the scattered and discordant provinces which 
have their political center in Vienna. Budapes 1 is 
now the capital of a nation of seventeen millions of 
progressive and ambitious people, and this new politi- 
cal fact is of itself sufficient to account for much 
of its growth. 

The commercial conditions also are not to be over- 
looked. Hungary is an agricultural country, lying 
for the most part in the rich valley of the Dariube 
and its principal tributaries. Central Hungary is 
a vast level plain, an uninterrupted stretch of culti- 
vated fields. One rides across it late in June or early 


in July to find it looking much like Illinois or Iowa, CHAP. ix. 
the chief crops being wheat, maize, oats, barley, and Budapest i 
hay, growing luxuriantly and extending as far as 
the eye can reach, without fences to break the sweep 
of vision. In these favored recent times the agricul- 
tural production has much increased, and Budapest is 
the market for the farm surplusage. As a grain- 
receiving point it is to the Hungarian plain what 
Chicago is to Illinois and Iowa, or what Minneapolis is 
to Minnesota and Dakota. It is hard to realize how 
commercially undeveloped all this Hungarian coun- 
try was only a few years ago, and what meager 
facilities it had for reaching the markets of Europe 
with its surplus food products. The new govern- 
ment at Budapest set itself to work to develop agri- 
culture and trade, without any particular fear of 
being charged with socialistic activities. Somebody 
had to take the initiative. The country was poor and 
without capital. To secure a system of railroads 
it was necessary to grant heavy subsidies to Eng- The state 
lish, French, and German capitalists, who formed com- ^stem? 
panics and established lines. But the government 
found subsequently that it could better afford to take 
over the roads, and put them under a consolidated 
public administration, than to pay annual subsidies to 
a dozen private companies. The results have justified 
its policy. In every possible way the government 
has made the State railway system conduce to the 
development of Hungarian industries. Under the 
railway administration there has been established at 
Budapest a great government manufactory, not only 
of locomotives but of all sorts of heavy machinery, mentis" 
including agricultural machines, a special product m ?arm 
being threshing-machines. It is only recently that machmery - 
machinery has been introduced in the farming opera- 
tions of southeastern Europe, and the innovation 




CHAP. ix. makes headway somewhat slowly against the preju- 
dices of the peasantry. Thus, in a recent summer, 
in the hay-fields of the Hungarian plain, I saw many 
a row of mowers, wearing the long white cotton tunics 
of the region, and swinging their scythes in unison, 
quite as described by Tolstoi in the famous mow- 
ing chapter of "Anna Kar6nina." Indeed, I did not 
happen to see a single mowing-machine at work. But 
I am assured that mowing- and reaping-machines 
are largely used in some parts of the country, and 
that their use is steadily increasing. 

As all the railroads center in Budapest, every effort 
to develop Hungarian agriculture benefits the com- 
mercial capital. The grain shipments, however, are 
chiefly by water, on the Danube and its tributa 
ries, a great fleet of roofed grain-barges plying 
on these waterways between Budapest and the wheat- 
fields. Some of these barges, which are of a con- 
struction peculiar to the Danube, have a capacity 
of six hundred tons of grain. The government has 
exerted itself to improve navigation, and great river 
improvements have been made at Budapest, to which 
I shall again refer. While the growth of Budapest 
has been influenced by causes already described, it 
has also been aided by the development of the flour- 
milling industry. Within twenty-five years the pro- 
cesses of flour-making throughout the world have 
been revolutionized by reason of certain Budapest in- 
ventions, of which the most important is the so-called 
" middlings-purifier * and gradual-reduction system, 
and the next in importance the substitution of steel 
rollers of various sizes and patterns for the old-time 
millstones. These inventions have resulted in giving 
the industry of flour-making to large mills, thus anni- 
hilating small mills by tens of thousands. The new 
ideas were quickly borrowed by Minnesota millers, 


ing as 


and by them were largely developed and improved j CHAP. ix. 
and Minneapolis and Budapest have grown contempo- 
raneously as the two great milling centers of the 
world. Minneapolis leads in the collective capacity 
of its mills and in the annual product; but it has 
a larger field in which to operate, and possesses facili- 
ties which Budapest lacks. The mills of the Hunga- 
rian capital are, however, a series of magnificent 
establishments, fitted up with automatic machinery 
invented and manufactured in the city, provided with 
electric lights, and well supplied with ingenious 
contrivances to prevent fire. Their finest grades of 
flour are sent to all parts of the world except the 
United States, and command the highest prices. One A municipal 
of the municipal institutions of Budapest is a huge elevator, 
brick grain-elevator, the only one in all Hungary at 
the time it was built, occupying a conspicuous place 
near the Danube bank and convenient also to railway 
tracks. It was built by the city some years ago as an 
object-lesson in the modern American methods of 
handling grain. 

Although it is to see new things rather than old 
that one visits Budapest, it may be well to say that 
the town once possessed a Eoman fortress and colony, ^^^.^^ 
#nd that its commanding site has involved it in mili- fortress. 
tary operations from time immemorial. It is only two 
hundred years since the Turks were driven out of 
Hungary, after an occupation of a century and a half. 
The fortress and rugged promontory are upon the 
right, or south, bank of the Danube, and pertain 
to Buda. Pest lies upon the flat north bank, and 
beyond it stretches the illimitable plain. In the old 
times Buda was the large town, while Pest was only 
an insignificant village ; but all the modern conditions 
of growth have favored the Pest side, which is now 
four times as populous as the other. The Buda or 


CHAP. ix. Of en (Of en is the German name for Buda) bank 
is, however, picturesque in the highest degree. The 
Blocksberg promontory rises abruptly, a sheer mass 
of rugged rock, nearly a thousand feet above the 
The citadel grand stream that washes its base ; and it is crowned 
' Pantheon, with a now useless citadel. For a long time, the 
Hungarians had promised themselves that some day 
a classic pantheon in honor of Hungary's long list of 
great men should be erected on this commanding 
acropolis. And now one of the chief events of the 
millennial programme of 1896 is to be the dedication 
of this Pantheon, in which will be placed the statues 
of personages whose name and fame give luster to a 
thousand years of Hungarian history. Adjoining the 
Blocksberg, but not so high, and rising less steeply 
from the river's brink, is the fortress hill, upon which 
stands a vast royal palace. Its cheerful buff-colored 
paint and long rows of green window-blinds suggest 
a summer resort hotel ; but it is really a very impos- 
ing structure, and its situation could hardly be more 
commanding. About it, on hillsides and in valleys, 
hidaandits lies the town once called Buda. On the retreating 
hillsides. S i p es O f the Blocksberg, and upon the sides of the 
higher mountains that lie in the rear, are many 
pleasant villas. Buda and its neighboring hills have 
long been famous for their vineyards and their wines. 
Prom the Blocksberg or any other of the neighboring 
heights, the view up and down the Danube, and over 
the stately city of Pest on the opposite bank, is 

It would, of course, be erroneous to say that all 
the progress, all the improvements, and all the good 
rhe period buildings of Budapest date from the new Hungarian 
>f progress. cons titution of 1868, or from the municipal consolida- 
tion of Buda and Pest which followed that political 
event, and which was consummated in 1873. Between 




from 1848 

to 1868. 

1848 and 1868 not a little progress had been made. CHAP. ix. 
The Archduke Joseph had done much for the sister 
towns. Population had increased materially; the 
magnificent suspension-bridge had been built; the 
patriotic Count Stephan Szechfinyi had founded the 
National Academy to foster the Magyar speech and 
literature, and had built for it a fitting renaissance 
palace at this time, when the Germans were " in the 
saddle," and when even the University of Budapest 
was a German institution with German professors 
in its chairs. Although, with Russian aid, the Aus- 
trians had crushed the Hungarian movement of 1848, 
so that the people's leaders had to choose between 
exile and the halter, while for some years the whole 
Hungarian nation was made to feel the heavy weight 
of the Austrian yoke, it is nevertheless true that 
the awakening of that year of revolutions resulted 
in a progress which left many marks in two dec- 
ades. But after this is said the fact remains that 
nearly all the systematic, appreciable advances of 
Hungary have been made in the years that have fol- 
lowed the happier events of 1868. In Budapest, de- 
liberate projects were adopted for the beautifying and 
development of the city as a fit capital for an ambi- 
tious young state. The exiles of 1848 came back 
with wisdom and experience to take the helm. Count 
Andr&ssy, who had been sentenced to be hung, now 
became prime minister. The reaction was most ener- 
getic. For the time being, all things German were 
at a heavy discount. The German officials were hus- 
tled out to a man. The University was reorganized 
on a Hungarian basis, and the whole corps of German 
professors was unceremoniously dismissed. 

Such being the national mood, it is easy to under- 
stand that the moment was propitious for large plans. 
Vienna was carrying out its stadt-erweiterung projects 



CHAP. ix. in the most magnificent way; and while Budapest 
city could hardly hope to become a Vienna, there was a 
unanimous determination to modernize and improve 
the place to the highest possible degree. The minis- 
try and the municipal authorities cooperated, and 
building operations were intrusted to a mixed com- 
mission of the national and city governments. As 
was proper alike from esthetic, sanitary, and com- 

nfttonof mews kl considerations, the river was made the cen- 

,he Danube, ter of improvements, and was constituted the prime 
thoroughfare, the chief open space and place of re- 
sort, and, in short, the unrivaled attraction of the 
city. It became to Budapest what the Grand Canal 
is to Venice something more essential than the 
Seine to Paris or the Thames to London. Magnifi- 
cent stone quays and retaining-walls were built, ex- 
tending for nearly three miles on the Pest side and also 
for a long distance on the opposite shore. These were 

The quays thrown well out, the broad channel being thus com- 
pressed somewhat to secure a clean, sweeping current. 
Up and down along the broad promenades facing 
the water have been erected palatial buildings. The 
quays are high, and stairs, built continuously for a 
long distance, lead down to the lower level of the 
landings, upon which the heavy traffic is confined. 
The rows of buildings are broken at intervals by 
open park spaces, in which are effectively placed the 
statues of various Hungarian notabilities. A number 
of handsome public buildings are included in the 
Public r ow upon the quays of the left bank, and toward the 
upper end of the row has been built the magnificent 
new Parliament house, in which the first session will 
occur in 1896. Further down are the National Acad- 
emy, the city's so-called " Redoute building/' the old 
Rathhaus (city hall), the vast new Custom-house, 
and various other establishments. For the distance 


of perhaps a quarter of a mile below the suspension- CHAP. ix. 
bridge the quay is a shady promenade, a chair-lined 
corso, upon which all driving is prohibited, and where 
on summer evenings many hundreds of fashionable 
people congregate, patronizing the caf6s and restau- 
rants, the tables of which are set under the trees in 
the open air. The Hungarians are even more fond 
of out-of-door eating and drinking than the Viennese; 
and Budapest is a city of magnificent caf 6s. 

But, to proceed with a description of the improve- 
ment plan, the inner and ancient Pest, known as " the gtreet 
city," and lying upon the river-bank, has been sur- reforms. 
rounded by boulevards in the form of a polygonal 
" ring-strasse "5 while by demolitions and reconstruc- 
tions the interior tangle of narrow streets has been 
brought into something like a modern system. From 
the sides and angles of the inner ring-strasse broad 
radial boulevards have been thrown out in straight, 
or measurably straight, lines to the outer eclges of 
the metropolis, and the lands lying between these 
great spokes are divided by street systems almost as 
regular and rectangular as those of American cities. 
Handsome as is the broad inner ring of boulevards, ^ two 
lined with fine buildings, it is far surpassed by the 
newer " grosse-ring," which crosses the radials about 
a mile further out, and which describes an arc that, 
from the new Margaret Bridge to the point where it 
again meets the river, is four or five miles long. It 
is very broad and finely paved, and is already lined 
for the greater part of its course with massive, pre- 
tentious structures, while building operations are 
now busily closing the gaps all along the line. Still 
other ring boulevards in a concentric series are to be 
constructed in the future. 

The finest single street in Budapest, the gem of the 
improvement works and the pride of the citizens, is 


CHAP. ix. the Andr&ssy-strasse, a broad boulevard connecting 
The An- the inner city with the " Stadtwaldchen." The An- 
strak drfissy-strasse is perfectly straight, and two miles 
long. It was planned with consummate art, and is 
one of the most beautiful and effective streets in 
Europe. Some enthusiastic people pronounce it with- 
out exception the handsomest of European streets, 
and certainly it tempts one to use superlative lan- 
guage. It is divided into three parts by the " Octa- 
gon-platz," where it crosses the larger ring-strasse, 
and by the " Rund-platz," or " circus/ 7 at a point 
where another encircling boulevard is eventually to 
cross. As it emerges from the Octagon-platz and 
the Rund-platz the street grows successively wider, 
although this would hardly be noticed by the casual 
passer. The first third of the distance is devoted 
to fine buildings, of varied architecture but general 
conformity, built solidly on the street line. The 
next third contains houses having narrow fore-gar- 
dens of a prescribed width. The last third extend- 
ing for two thirds of a mile is devoted to separate 
villa-like residences, all at similar distance from the 
sidewalks, and, with infinite variety of architectu- 
ral detail, conforming to the regular street plan. The 
vista from the entrance of this street to its end in the 
character shady Stadtwaldchen is very beautiful. The broad 
of pavmg. cen t ra i driveway is paved with wooden blocks on a 
solid concrete foundation. The sidewalks are of as- 
phalt, the narrower driveways next the sidewalks are 
paved with square-cut stone blocks, and the eques- 
trian courses, which are between the central and the 
outer driveways, are graveled. Although there are 
no individual buildings on the Andr6ssy-strasse which 
cannot readily be matched in any other important 
city, the average of architectural merit is very high ; 
and the absence of anything that can mar the general 



The prin- 
cipal park. 

effect is an important element in the success of this CHAP. ix. 
public improvement. It should be said that the Buda 
side has also its boulevard system, and that the cost 
of expropriations and of construction in this remod- 
eling of the street-system has aggregated a large sum. 

The Stadtwaldchen is a beautiful park of about a 
thousand acres which plays a most intimate part in 
the life of the Budapest people. Fortunately it is not 
remote or difficult of access, and is to Budapest what 
the " Prater w is to Vienna. It contains a charming 
lake for skating in winter and for pleasure-boats in 
summer. It has its areas of deep and quiet shade, its 
zoological corner, and, above all, its collection of caf 6s, 
refreshment-stands, shooting-galleries, " roller-coast- 
ers," arenas* Punch and Judy shows, summer theaters, 
wax- work exhibitions, and " side-shows " in bewilder- 
ing variety, all very cheap, all very good of their 
respective sorts, and all very delightful to the plea- 
sure-loving thousands who resort to the park in the 
spring and summer afternoons. Here is located also 
one of the municipal government's hot sulphur-water 
bathing establishments. Of small parks and open 
spaces the city has a number, though not so many as 
should have been reserved. The Elisabeth Park is 
especially worthy of mention. 

Certainly it would be unpardonable to omit mention 
of the " Margareta Island." The " Margareten-Insel " 
lies in the Danube, at the upper end of the city. In an- 
cient days it belonged to an order of nuns, the ruins of 
whose convent still remain. In the fifteenth century 
the Turks drove the poor nuns away, and the janizary 
pashas established their harems there. On the expul- 
sion of the Turks the island became city property, but 
a generation ago it was given by the municipality to 
the Archduke Joseph for a hunting-ground. The 
present archduke keeps it in beautiful order as a 

The Marga- 
reta Island. 




Parks on 
the Buda 

of 400. 

The tax- 

Too large 
a body. 

pleasure-ground for the public. It is nearly two 
miles long and about half a mile wide, and it deserves 
the enthusiasm with which the Budapest people re- 
gard it. It is full of a variety of magnificent trees, 
has tasteful flower-gardens, is also the seat of min- 
eral baths elaborately appointed, with two or three 
adjoining hotels, and has the restaurants without 
which no pleasure-ground would be complete in south- 
ern Europe. Among the hills of the Buda side, also, 
are parks and pleasure-grounds ; and the population 
is blessed with much beautiful weather and a great 
number of holidays in which to enjoy its open-air 

Budapest has a municipal council that is as large as 
a " town-meeting." If any other city in the world has 
a council of 400 members, I have not yet learned the 
fact. Pest began in 1868 with 200 members; but 
when the consolidation was effected in 1873 the plan 
of adding 200 members chosen from the higher ranks 
was adopted. It was provided that the whole body 
of electors, besides choosing 200 common members 
in the nine wards, should choose 200 more from a list 
of the 1200 largest taxpayers. In the making of this 
list men of liberal education are rated for double 
the taxes they actually pay, in order that brains and 
learning may have recognition. A standing com- 
mittee makes out a list of the aristocratic 200, and 
it so happens that the great voting public always 
elects the entire list thus selected. The whole coun- 
cil retires en masse at the end of each six years' term. 
The body is of course much too large for efficiency. 
Possibly a hundred will be found at one ordinary 
meeting, and at the next meeting a hundred again, 
but quite a different hundred. The committees also 
are much too large to be workable, some of them 
having thirty or forty members. The actual execu- 



tive work is performed by a magistracy composed of 
a burgomaster, two vice-burgomasters, and ten other 
so-called magistrates, all chosen by the council for 
terms of six years. Each magistrate has his special 
administrative department. These and several other 
high executive officials are ex-officio members of the 
council. Two officials, the Director of Archives and 
the Director of the Municipal Bureau of Statistics, are 
appointed for life. The advisability of reducing the 
membership of the council is generally recognized, 
and when the opportune moment for a revision of the 
municipal constitution comes, it is quite possible that 
the aristocratic 200 will be cut off at the first stroke. 
But the inefficiency of the present unwieldy council is 
counterbalanced by the efficiency of the smaller mag- 
isterial and executive corps, so that Budapest cannot 
by any means be called a badly governed city. 

Apart from Budapest, the municipalities of Hun- 
gary are organized under the terms of a general stat- 
ute which makes a difference between the smaller 
places the communes (gemeinden) and the munici- 
pal corporations. The smaller places are self -gov- 
erned upon principles similar to those that obtain in 
the organization of the municipalities, but their sys- 
tem is less elaborate. The basis of things in all* cases 
is a municipal council, which in the little rural ham- 
lets and villages varies in size from 10 to 20 members, 
in the larger communes from 20 to 40, and in the fully 
developed municipalities from 48 to 200. Hungary 
has no large cities except Budapest, but it has about 
twenty large towns which by the census of 1890 had 
an average population approaching fifty thousand. 
The voters are those who have paid a small tax. The 
general rule prevails throughout Hungary that one 
half of the communal or municipal council shall be 
elected by the whole body of voters, and that the 



The execu- 
> tive 

of adminis- 

The Hun- 
system in 

of councils. 


CHAP, ix other half shall be made up of the largest local tax- 
Largest tex- payers who are eligible by virtue of citizenship, resi- 
occupyhaif dence, age, etc. It is this arrangement, doubtless, 

ofthecoun- .,,;.,, , ,, TT . ,. , . 

cii seats, that has influenced the Hunganan parliament in 
ordaining that the councils shall be so large. Thus 
in a town whose council consists of 200 members, the 
first hundred is made up of men who have a right to 
their seats by virtue of the fact that they head the 
tax-list. They hold their seats for no definite period, 
because the tax-lists are revised every year, and cir- 
cumstances make changes in the personnel of the hun- 
dred who are nearest the top. While these tax-payers 
have a right to sit in the council, it does not follow 
that they will care regularly to exercise the right. 
The more stable element of the body consists, there- 
fore, of the half regularly elected by the voters. As 
in Budapest, so in all the towns and communes of 
of educated Hungary it is true that professional men and all men 

men - who follow callings that imply considerable education 
are listed at double the amount of taxes they actually 
pay, in order that their classes maybe reasonably sure 
of a good share in the make-up of the governing bod- 
ies. It is only in Budapest that the aristocratic half 
of the council is chosen by election from a larger list. 
Elsewhere it suffices that a man is a member of the 
group of largest tax-payers. Under certain specified 
circumstances a large tax-payer who is non-resident or 

some otherwise unable to serve may name his own substi- 

peculiar * 

provisions, tute. Sometimes a large tax-payer prefers to hold his 
council seat as one of the elected members of the 
body ; in which case the next largest tax-payer comes 
forward as a councilor. It is an interesting fact, 
moreover, that any firm, company, or other organiza- 
tion that pays taxes on property may, as a legal per- 
sonage, exercise the local franchise through some one 
holding its power of attorney or authorization. In 



Budapest, where the whole electorate (composed of 
all tax-paying citizens who can read and write) has a 
right to vote for 200 out of the list of 1200 largest tax- 
payers, the room for selection is so wide that the 
results are very different from those that are found in 
other towns, where absolutely the largest tax-payers 
always fill half the places in the council without 
election. The standing executive committees and the 
chief officials carry on the practical work of adminis- 
tration in a manner that is much alike throughout the 
entire Austro-Hungarian empire. The chief heads of 
departments, who form with the burgomaster a mag- 
isterial council, and who, like the German magistrates, 
are practically life members of the municipal service, 
have seats in the general town councils, with the right 
to speak and vote. 

The social aspects of municipal administration 
have a growing interest and importance, and Buda- 
pest's experience and undertakings are worth relating. 
Before 1870 the average annual death-rate was 45 per 
1000 inhabitants, and in epidemic years it reached 50. 
The rate is now about 25 ; and this remarkable reduc- 
tion has been effected in the face of the rapid growth 
of the city's population. It means the saving of 
at least ten thousand lives a year. The rate is no 
longer a very high one even when compared with 
western Europe or America ; and it is to be remem- 
bered that Budapest is the capital of a country that 
borders on the Turkish empire. The death-rate in most 
Eastern countries is vastly higher than in Western 
countries. Thus in Russia, and in the Danubian and 
Balkan states, the rate is higher than in Hungary. 
That Budapest, the crowded city, has managed to 
bring its death-rate to a point below that of the 
country as a whole is a most exceptional and note- 
worthy fact. From 45 per 1000 a very few years 


Wider range 
of selection 
in Budapest. 





death-rate is 

lower than 



CHAP. ix. earlier, the Budapest rate had fallen to 41 in 1876, 40 
in 1877, 31.2 in 1884, 29.4 in 1885, 27.9 in 1892, 26.8 
in 1893, and 24.4 in 1895. How has this gratify- 
ing improvement of the general health been effected ? 
By a series of municipal measures not yet fully com- 
pleted. The first of these measures was an improved 
The question water-supply. The Danube water was pumped into 
reservoirs and filtered by the natural process through 
sand, with good results. The town grew so fast that 
the water question again became a pressing one, some 
quarters being obliged to accept an unfiltered supply, 
and it was determined to provide a new and permanent 
system, various plans being proposed, and artesian 
wells being tried with good tesults. 

As the sequel has proved, one of the most fortunate 
The bureau features of the municipal reorganization that followed 
of statistics. Hungary's assumption of home rule was the establish- 
ment of a bureau of statistics. Mr. Joseph KOrOsi was 
made statistician for life ; and he completed twenty- 
five years of service in 1894. His reports, monographs, 
brochures, and special investigations, pertaining to 
almost every conceivable municipal question capable 
Mr. Korosi's * statistical treatment, are without a parallel in the 
work. world for their complete, exhaustive, and timely 
character; and the social and sanitary reforms of 
Budapest have followed the lines laid down by the 
statistical bureau. Until Mr. KOrOsPs work began, 
the high mortality of Budapest was not known. Its 
citizens thought it an extremely healthy place. The 
statistical office was denounced* as slandering and 
injuring the city when it first discovered and pub- 
The findings lished the f acts. But Mr. KOrOsi persevered, and his 
sus of mi. remarkable census of 1871 attempted to account for 
the high mortality. He made a thorough study of the 
conditions of the population, and found overcrowding 
very prevalent, and, worst of all, a very large element 



of the population in damp underground residences. 
There followed a series of regulations to prevent these 
evils. Living in cellars was forbidden, and new quar- 
ters for the poor were constructed. But the badly 
housed population was too large to be shifted at once, 
and it became necessary to permit the reoccupancy of 
the drier and less objectionable subground domiciles. 
In 1881 the cellar abodes had been reduced to 7.6 per 
cent, of the whole number, while in 1891 the propor- 
tion had fallen to 5 per cent. In Vienna, meanwhile^ 
the cellar dwellings in 1891 were only 1.2 per cent, of 
the whole number, by virtue of the reconstruction of 
the people's dwellings that I have already described. 

The very striking fact about the homes of the 
common people in Budapest is the prevalence of one- 
story houses, which are subdivided as tenements in 
such a way as to give each family only one main 
room, with a very small kitchen annex. Housing 
reforms in Vienna have resulted in the general crea- 
tion of the large tenement-house of several stories, 
as in Berlin and Paris. And in Budapest the new 
tendency is in that direction. But the old custom of 
one-story houses that has always prevailed in south- 
eastern Europe is still chiefly characteristic of house 
architecture on the side streets and in the unfashion- 
able bezirken of Budapest. Before 1870, four fifths of 
all the buildings of all descriptions were of one story, 
and barely 2 per cent, had two flights of stairs. In 
1891, two thirds were still one-story buildings; but 
the three- and four-story structures had begun to 
multiply. In 1881, 62 per cent, of all the families were 
living on ground floors, and this proportion in 1891 
had fallen to 59.5. In Vienna, 26 per cent, of the house- 
holds were on the ground floor (erdgeschoss), while in 
the large German cities the average is from 13 to 20 
per cent. Up one flight in Budapest are 21 per cent of 




of cellar 

with Vienna. 


High tene- 
ments in 

change in 


on different 


in Budapest, 

Vienna, and 





Great pre- 
of one-room 


striking con- 

conditions of 

chief Aus- 
trian towns. 

the families, while 9.4 are on the third floor, and only 
5 per cent climb more than the two staircases. In 
Vienna, by way of contrast, 26.5 per cent, are up one 
flight, 21.2 are up two, and 24 ascend three or more. 
In Berlin, on the other hand, 35 per cent, of the house- 
holds are three or more flights above the street floor. 

Not counting the small kitchen annexes, or an occa- 
sional windowless closet, Mr. Korttei found in 1891 
that the one-room dwellings were nearly 62 per cent, 
of the whole number, and that two-room dwellings 
were nearly 21 per cent., while those with three to five 
rooms were 15.3 per cent., and those with more 
than five rooms were only 2.2 per cent., or about one 
in fifty. In Breslau and one or two other large Ger- 
man towns the house-room is shockingly scant for the 
population; but in Budapest it is more restricted, un- 
questionably, than in any other large town of the 
civilized world. How very different the housing con- 
ditions of Vienna have become under the impetus of 
the tax-exemptions and the working of the new build- 
ing rules, may readily be shown. The comparative 
figures present a striking contrast between the two 
capitals. It will be interesting, perhaps, to include 
in a table an analysis of the housing conditions of the 
other large towns of the Austrian empire, chief of 
which is Bohemian Prague, after which come Ital- 
ian Trieste, German Gratz, Polish-Hebrew Lemberg 
and Cracow, near the borders of the Russian empire, 
and the thrifty, winsome Moravian capital, Briinn. 

For every 100 dwellings (space occupied by a dis- 
tinct household) the census inquiry of 1891 found : 


In Budar Vien- Trir Lem- Crar 

pest. na. Prague, este. Gratz. berg. cwo. Brunn. 

1 room .......... 61.7. . 5.3 .16.4. .11.7. .17.6. 36.5. .31.4. . 4.6 

2 rooms ......... 20.8. .28.1. 35.3. .32.7. .30.5. .24.3. .26.1. .41.9 

53 -- - 35 - 8 - - 38 -- - 38 - 6 - ' 

6 and more rooms 2.2.. 13.5.. 12.5.. 17.6.. 13.8.. 8.2. .12.5.. 11.4 


When account is made of the extraordinary preva- CHAP. ix. 
lence in Budapest of the one-room dwelling, the success 
of the health administration in its reduction of the 
death-rate by nearly one half becomes the more credit- 
able. It must be borne in mind, however, that Buda- Mitigating 
pest's one-room families are chiefly in one-story houses, stances". 
where sunlight and air penetrate more freely than 
they oould in many-storied slums ; and that Budapest 
spreads its population over a comparatively wide area. 
The municipal territory has long been greater than 
that of any other European capital, comprising nearly 
eighty square miles, and thus being larger even than 
Vienna's newly extended bounds. It is not to be in- L&r e muniw 
f erred that the population is evenly distributed over ci P ftl *. 
this large territory, for much of the outlying region is 
made up of gardens, vineyards, farms and forests. 
But the tendency is towards a comfortable outflow 
over ample building space. And it is evident that 
the gradual replacement of one-story tenement-houses 
by those of three or more stories will greatly relieve 
the population-pressure upon a given area. The city 
itself, in view of Mr. KflrOsi's latest disclosures, has 
resolved upon a remodeling of some of the poorest 
quarters, and the work is to be inaugurated in 1896 
as a part of the noteworthy programme of improve- A new pro- 
ments with which it has been determined at Budapest 

to celebrate Hungary's millennial. These new reforms orm ' 
will not be as costly at Budapest as corresponding 
ones have been in various other European cities, for 
the twofold reason 'that the demolitions will chiefly 
affect one-story houses, and that real-estate in Buda- 
pest commands only moderate prices. The next gen- 
eral census, that of 1901, will certainly show a 
conspicuous improvement in the housing conditions 
of the Hungarian capital, even though it may be fifty 
years before Vienna's favorable position as to average 
amount of house-room can be attained. 


CHAP, ix. An American would certainly expect to find real- 
estate speculation rife in a city growing so rapidly as 

The town as Budapest; but there seems to be practically none. 

ar owner! ftte This state of affairs is due, at least in large part, to 
the fact that much of the vacant land in and about the 
town belongs to the municipality, having been public 
property for a long time. As the growth of the town 
requires, the authorities from time to time sell build- 
ing sites to the highest bidders. The modern school 
of land-reformers would condemn this alienation, and 
to would insist that the fractions of the social domain 
builders, should be leased rather than sold; but the south- 
eastern European is a firm believer in private land- 
holding, and loves to possess his own house and bit of 
garden. The municipal corporation of Budapest is 
fortunate in possessing all the ground that it needs 
for hospitals and public objects. This remark, how- 
ever, does not apply to the Buda side of the river, the 
old town of Buda having at an early day parted with 
all its landed possessions. Most Hungarian towns, 
it ma y ^ e observed, as well as those of Servia, Bul- 
garia and the Danubian provinces in general, continue 
to hold as municipal property an environing area of 
common land formerly used for village pasturage and 
fuel-supply, and now to be reckoned upon as a grow- 
ingly valuable municipal asset. 

The food-supply of Budapest has been brought 
under suitable public control. The great municipal 
slaughter-house is one of the establishments in which 

^Abattoirs the citizens take especial pride. It is very imposing 

markets, architecturally, is finely appointed, and, as a public 
monopoly, is made to contribute to the municipal 
coffers while serving a sanitary end. Connected with 
it are the public cattle-markets, which well repay a 
visit on the weekly market-day for their splendid 
herds of the long-horned white oxen of Hungary and 



Servia. The produce-markets of Budapest, as of all 
other towns of southeastern Europe, are attended by 
great numbers of peasants in national costume, and 
are as picturesque as any scenes in the Orient. The 
imposition of new sanitary rules and regulations upon 
the conduct of business in the market-places has been 
a marked gain for the health of the people. 

To 'continue with the new social establishments of 
the municipality, some mention must be made of the 
magnificent general hospital, built with separate brick 
pavilions, according to the most approved plans, and 
occupying spacious and beautiful grounds. In a 
wooded area on the edge of the city, sufficiently iso- 
lated without being inconveniently remote, has been 
built the new municipal hospital for epidemic dis- 
eases, which conforms to all the latest requirements 
of sanitary science. Budapest is at length bringing 
infectious diseases under control. The so-called 
u prophylactic * measures of obligatory reports by 
physicians, of prompt isolation of every case, of visits 
and instruction by the authorities to insure proper 
care and treatment, of control of the children of 
families in which are cases of such disease, and finally, 
of disinfection by the public authorities, are employed 
with success. 

Budapest had a cholera visitation in September, 
1892, that ended in February, 1893, with a record of 
935 cases of illness and 525 deaths. The epidemic 
was remarkably well managed by the authorities. It 
was demonstrated that nearly every case of attack 
resulted from the use of unfiltered or imperfectly 
filtered water, those who were drinking pure water 
having entire immunity. It has also been shown by 
Mr. KOrOsi that typhoid, scarlet fever, diphtheria and 
other infectious diseases are three or four times as 
prevalent in the parts of the town that are not supplied 






Cholera epi- 
demic of 

tion in favor 
of filtered 


CHAP. ix. with filtered water as in those that have the best 
quality. As a result of these demonstrations, the 
city government has given prompt attention to a 
betterment of the entire supply. 

Attention has been given to street and domestic 
scavenging. The sewer-system, though not complete 
The sewers, and perfect, is greatly improved. The Danube is so 
large a stream that it suffices to carry off dll the 
refuse of the city, and no separation or "treatment" 
of sewage is necessary. Another important health- 
Public baths, measure has been the establishment of free baths 
in the Danube, for summer use, these institutions 
being well patronized, and also the utilization by 
the authorities, for the benefit of the poor, of some 
of the hot sulphur springs, the curative properties 
of which in certain diseases are very famous. As a 
result of the various efforts to improve the health and 
social condition of the people, put forth intelligently 
and humanely by the public authorities, Budapest is 
fast exchanging its oriental unwholesomeness for the 
comparative healthfulness of an occidental city. 
Meanwhile Mr. KOrOsPs elaborate statistical analyses 
throw light from time to time upon every doubtful 
point, and his unequaled library of inter-municipal 
statistics enables him to furnish his constituency 
with stimulating comparative data. 

The illumination of Budapest has been a monopoly 
The city and in the hands of a private gas company whose original 
supply." charter expired in 1881, and which obtained a renewed 
charter for some fifteen years longer. The city has ob- 
tained gas for street purposes: at reduced rates; has 
obliged the company to mitigate its charge to consu- 
mers in accordance with a sliding scale based up6n the 
increase in aggregate consumption ; and moreover has 
collected very heavy taxes from the company. It re- 
served the right to take over the plant and business 


at an appraised valuation, but was awaiting the de- CHAP. ix. 
velopment of electric lighting ; and there was a strong Electric 
probability that the municipality would decide to enter lightingt 
upon the business of manufacturing and selling the 
new illuminant, as a part of its varied programme of 
expansion fixed for the year 1896. 

Street transportation has also been kept under con- 
trol }jy the municipality. A united tramway system gtreet 
(horse-traction) pays street rentals and large taxes, railways. 
The company's fares are fixed by law, and it is re- 
quired that working people shall be carried at reduced 
rates in the morning and evening. At the expiration 
of existing charters, the street-railway lines and their 
equipment will become the property of the city, with- 
out indemnity to the private owners. Upon the 
greater ring-street and several of the radial avenues 
the Budapest Electric City Railway Company operates 
a model system of lines upon the plan of an insulated g roun<i e eiec- 
trolley carried in a metallic underground conduit. 
The first of these lines was opened in 1889, and the 
company has steadily extended its tracks, under fran- 
chises that are conspicuously favorable to all public 
interests. From the technical point of view, the un- 
derground electrical current has been an unqualified 
success in Budapest, this Danubian city deserving 
credit for having led all the world in the adoption of 
advanced and perfect appliances in electrical street 
transit. The financial affairs of the company are as 
open to inspection as the accounts of any municipal Finances of 
department. After paying large taxes to the city, 
contributing to insurance and sick funds for its em- 
ployees, making liberal yearly payments to a reserve 
tax fund, placing a considerable sum in the ordinary 
reserve fund, besides provisions for interest, and for 
a sinking-fund to redeem its bonds, the company was 
able in 1894 to pay the shareholders a dividend of 8 


CHAP. ix. per cent, on the stock. This, however, was not be- 
cause the company is extraordinarily prosperous, but 
in part because of excellent management, and above 
all things because the stock represents only the actual 
investment. The capitalization of the system is only 
4,000,000 florins. An American street-railway com- 
pany would hardly have been content to construct such 
a system and put it into operation without attempting 
to make it earn dividends on from five to ten times 
the amount that the Hungarian laws permit to stand 
as the capital to be remunerated. 

Street-railways of all kinds have been excluded 
from the Andrdssy-street; but this beautiful avenue 
is the most direct approach to the park in which the 

An under- exhibition of 1896 is to be held ; and it was decided 



trie road, that an underground road from the heart of the town 
on the Danube front ought to be constructed under 
the Andr&ssy-strasseto the exhibition grounds. Con- 
sequently, the horse railway company and the electric 
company applied for a joint franchise under which 
they were ready to unite in constructing, as a trunk- 
line connecting with both their systems, the most 
perfectly appointed underground road ever yet built, 
with electric motors, electric lighting, superior venti- 
lation, and every convenience that ingenuity could 
suggest. It was expected that the project would be 
executed. Various narrow-gauge steam railways and 
deotrio overhead trolley lines run from Budapest to 

* tem? ys ~ neighboring towns ; and the whole region is gradually 
, acquiring the varied and complete transit facilities of 
a metropolitan district. Two or three new bridges 
across the Danube will have been begun in 1896, and 
these links will permit the better union of the* street- 
railway systems of the two halves of the town. 

The prospects for Budapest's continued growth as a 
Danubian metropolis are very bright. As the center 


of the Hungarian State-railway system, its commercial CHAP. ix. 
importance is constantly enhanced by the development 
of the resources of the country and the corresponding 
increase of traffic. And it is no longer doubtful that 
the capital will be the gainer to an enormous extent 
by the new "zone tariff" put in operation on the " Z system! ff 
State-railway system in August, 1889. This remarka- 
ble innovation in railroading entirely changes the 
passenger-ticket system. From Budapest as a center 
14 zones are described; the first having a radius of 25 
kilometers (about 15 miles). The second is a belt 
lying between the inner circle and an outer one drawn 
with a 40 kilometer radius; i. e., its width is 15 kilo- Main 
meters. Successive zones have a radius from the 
Budapest center of 55, 70, 85, 100, 115, 130, 145, 160, 175, 
200, and 225 kilometers, while to the fourteenth zone 
are assigned all distances on any of the Hungarian 
State lines that lie more than 225 kilometers away 
from the capital. For any point in each of these 
zones the fare is the same. The new rates are greatly 
reduced, being in some cases one half and in other 
cases less than one fourth the former rates. The 
average reduction is not far from two thirds. Rail- 
way bookkeeping is of course simplified by the new 
system, and traveling has received an unwonted stim- 
ulus. It is now conceded that the innovation is a 
success from the point of view of railway financiering ; 
and it is even a more brilliant success from the point 
of view of the commercial and social progress of the 
capital city. It has given new movement and life to 
the sluggish population of the outlying parts of Hun- 
gary. The annual number of persons traveling by 
rail at once increased several-fold. The working- 
men's tickets are so cheap, moreover, that it becomes 
readily feasible to mobilize labor at any point in 
Hungary where it is needed. Great results in like 





Growth of 

the city's 


system of 

manner are following the more recent adoption of 
zone tariffs and reduced rates for freight traffic. 
The "vicinity tariff ;; makes short rides very inex- 
pensive and promotes the growth of outer suburbs, 
while bringing hosts of country people to the city on 
business errands. The statistical record of the 
changes in Hungarian habits of travel that have been 
brought about by the zone system and the era of low 
fares inaugurated by the lamented Gabriel von Baross, 
Hungary's daring and talented young minister of 
commerce and transportation, discloses the remark- 
able extent of an innovation that is destined to foster 
the rapid social and industrial development of the 
country, and above all to redound to the prosperity 
of Budapest. The city's population had grown from 
355,682 on the last day of 1880, to 506,384 on Decem- 
ber 31, 1890. There is much reason to think that the 
census of 1900 will show an even greater gain for the 
last decade of the century. Budapest in the millen- 
nial year 1896 would seem justified in estimating the 
population at nearly or quite 600,000. 

The educational, literary, and artistic progress of 
Budapest has been as striking since 1870 as its mate- 
rial progress. The educational system has been re- 
formed and revivified from the bottom to the top. At 
the very apex is the University, under national aus- 
pices and support, an institution fairly comparable 
with the better universities of Germany. It suffered 
somewhat by the precipitate expulsion of the German 
faculty and the too sudden transformation from a 
German to a Hungarian basis. But it has recovered, 
and now has a truly national character and influence. 
Another important official educational establishment, 
the Royal Polytechnic Institute, with technical courses 
in engineering and applied science, flourishes at Bu- 
dapest. Then comes a series of collegiate establish- 



ments, gymnasien and real-schulen, some of which are CHAP. ix. 
national and municipal, while others are denomina- 
tional with public subventions. Below these are 
the advanced schools for boys and girls, corresponding 
in their work to our upper grammar- and lower high- 
school grades, and having certain industrial and prac- 
tical features. On the same level are the mercantile 
and trade schools. And then come the numerous 
elementary schools, the accommodations of which are 
intended to be equal to the requirements of the Com- Compulsory 
pulsory Education Act; for throughout Austria and attendance. 
Hungary elementary education has for a number of 
years been obligatory upon all. The children learn 
perfectly both the Hungarian and the German lan- 
guages, and not infrequently they learn something of 
either French or English. 

Because devotion to their speech, and admiration 
of those who use it well as writers or orators, have 
always played so essential a part in the actual gov- 
ernmental and institutional life of the Hungarians, I 
may be pardoned for a word of digression about it. 
The Hungarians, like all the people of southeastern 
Europe, are ready linguists. But the ease with which 
they acquire other languages does not diminish their 
loyalty to their own. The Hungarian, or Magyar, 
speech has no affinity with the other languages of the 
Austro-Hungarian empire. It is more closely related 
to the Turkish than to any other tongue. It is a con- 
cise language, flexible, musical, and has a rich vocab- 
ulary ; and its most enthusiastic defenders are men 
who cannot be charged with ignorance of the capa- 
bilities of the three leading languages of western 
Europe. An extensive and growing Magyar litera- 
ture exists, and the book-shops of Budapest teem with 
new productions in all fields of thought. The press 
of Budapest is also very active, Indeed, the Hunga- 

Influence of 

the Magyar 



CHAP. ix. rians claim that nowhere else in Europe is journalism 
journalism so free, and so influential in molding opinion and 
guiding affairs. An extraordinary number of the 
leading men in the municipal government and in the 
national parliament are or have been journalists. A 
Budapest writer has lately remarked that " all the men 
who can be regarded as distinguished and important 
in the field of Hungarian politics stand in close rela- 
tion to the press: Louis Kossuth was a journalist; 
Francis De&k entered upon his work of adjusting 
Hungarian and Austrian relations with a series of 
newspaper articles; and in the list of journalist 
statesmen stand the names of the brilliant Anton 
Csengery, Baron Sigismund Kem6ny, Moritz J6kai, 
Max Falk, Louis Csern&tony; in a word, the most 
important of the public men of Hungary are journal- 
ists, for even the Prime Minister Tisza himself, in his 
time, when leader of the opposition, cultivated public 
opinion through the columns of a Hungarian jour- 
nal." In Budapest alone there are now more than 
230 different periodicals published in the Hunga- 
rian language, while there are at least forty in the 
German tongue. And there are a dozen important 
daily papers. 

The musical and artistic activity of Budapest is 
very considerable, and it also has received great im- 
petus from the causes which have led to the recent 
expansion of all interests in the Magyar capital. The 
government maintains a National Theater that has 
played an important part in the patriotic and intel- 
pai theaters. j ec tual life of the people, encouraging poetic and lit- 
erary activity, and upholding the national speech. 
Even more successful, if possible, in these respects is 
the Volks Theater, which, supported by the municipal 
government and conducted upon the most popular 
plan, fills a prominent place in the life of the commu- 


nity. The most imposing structure devoted to musical CHAP. ix. 
and dramatic art is the new Royal Opera, supported Royal opera. 
by the government, in the Andr&ssy-strasse. It is 
one of the two or three finest opera-houses in Europe, 
its magnificence hardly coming short of those in 
Vienna and Paris. 

If Budapest were possessed of no other attractions 
whatsoever, its remarkable hot springs and mineral 
waters, unequaled for the variety of their curative 
properties by any other group of medicinal springs in Historical 
the entire world, should give the place great fame. Its spl baths! nd 
warm spring baths are very ancient. The Romans 
utilized them, and they called Buda "Aquincum" 
(Five- waters), with reference to the five springs that 
were known and used. The Huns also prized the 
healing waters ; and finally the Turks, during their 
period of domination, built great public baths, and 
regarded the waters as possessed of the highest virtue. 
Some of these baths now belong to the municipality 
and others are private property. For the most part 
they lie on the Buda side of the river. Especially 
noted are the " Kaiser-bad," the " Lucas-bad," and the baths ' 
" Konigs-bad," belonging to the Josephsberg group, 
and lying at the base of that conspicuous eminence. 
To the same group belong the baths of the Marga- 
reta Island. Comfortable hotels adjoin these springs, 
and the bathing establishments for the most part are 
commodious and even luxurious. A more beautiful 
health-resort than the "Margareten-InseP can be found 
nowhere. Another group includes the " Raitzen-bad," 
the "Bruck-bad," and the "Blocks-bad," lying a little 
distance further down the river and in the vicinity 
of the Blocksberg promontory. On the other side of 
the city, in the Stadtwaldchen Park, the municipal 
authorities have a hot-sulphur-bath establishment, 
supplied with water by an artesian well nearly three 



CHAP. ix. thousand feet deep. The saline constituents of these 
various sources are different, and some of the springs 
are recommended for one class of diseases, and some 
for another. The waters are used either externally, 
internally, or both, according to the case to be treated. 
There are in use some interesting old remains of 
Turkish bath-house architecture, notably one belong- 
ing to the municipality, the " Rudas-bad."" The 
modern buildings are not magnificent, but they are 
handsome and comfortable. 

On the edge of Buda, in a little plain surrounded 

The bitter- by high hills, are the well-known " bitter-water " 
springs, springs which have made the name of Hungary more 
famous perhaps than any other article of export. 
These curative mineral waters are bottled in vast 
quantities and sent to all parts of the world. The 
" Hunyadi " water, the " Franz- Joseph," the " Kftnigs- 
bitter-wasser," and the " Rak6czy," are the best-known 
of these potent Budapest waters. It would be super- 
fluous to discuss here their remedial qualities. But 
the baths, springs, and wells I have named, with various 
others in the immediate vicinity, constitute a marvel- 
ous endowment bestowed by nature upon this beauti- 
ful city, and beyond all doubt will be a source of very 
great wealth and fame in the future. As at Bath in 


municipal England, these healing waters of Budapest may be- 
from baths, come at some time a property yielding a direct and 
large municipal revenue. They are already prized as 
a municipal asset of large prospective value. They 
also begin to bear a definite relation to the labors of 
the public health department and of the hospital and 
medical relief services, while enabling the city to give 
its citizens virtually without cost the luxury and 
benefit of a wonderful variety of public baths. 

Enough has been said, perhaps, to show that Buda- 
pest has become in recent years one of the best- 


appointed of modern cities. Its streets are handsome CHAP. ix. 
and clean, asphalt being the prevailing material of the 
new pavements ; its drainage is good ; its health-system 
is producing beneficent results ; its water-supply is to 
be enlarged and perfected; its local transportation 
system is not merely adequate but exceptionally good ; 
its building regulations are at length producing a 
well-constructed and handsome city; and its provi- 
sions for education and recreation are highly credit- 
able. Its public buildings are of good architecture Public 
and of considerable variety. A splendid new build- architecture. 
ing has been erected for the housing of the municipal 
government, the offices having been heretofore dis- 
tributed among several city buildings. One of these, 
the famous u Eedoute building," is an imposing struc- 
ture containing a vast public hall for balls and enter- 
tainments, the ground floor being used as a fashionable 
restaurant and cafe. Of such buildings as hospitals, 
schools, academies of art and science, the city has a 
most creditable supply. I have mentioned already 
the new Hungarian Pantheon ; and the celebrations 
of 1896 are also to include the opening of a palatial 
Museum of Art and History, a Museum of Artistic 
Handwork, and a new Palace of Justice, as well as the 
new Parliament buildings (which have cost 16,000,000 
florins), and a permanent Exhibition Hall. 

Thus the Danube Valley has at length begun to 
show development under the magic of modern politi- 
cal, social, and industrial forces; and its progress progress in 
within the coming half -century bids fair to exceed th vaifeyl be 
that of some newer regions of the Western world. 
Budapest proposes to wrest from Vienna the commer- 
cial ascendency of the lower Danube valley; and it is 
possible that there may be in store for it a very bril- 
liant political future as the capital of a Danubian 
confederation that shall include Hungary and the 


CHAP. ix. smaller states of the Southeast. That this is the 
ambition of many Hungarians is perfectly well known; 
and Hungary is preparing to play an unprecedentedly 
important rdle in the political life of Europe. But 
whatever may be the political future of the Austro- 
Hungarian empire and of the Balkan peninsula, it is 
now certain enough that Budapest is to take and 
Budapest^ hold its place among the great cities of the civilized 
influence, world. Moreover, the example of Budapest is des- 
tined to quicken municipal progress in Sofia, Belgrade, 
Bucharest, Athens, and Odessa, and even in Constan- 
tinople itself. The early decades of the twentieth 
century will witness wonderful transformations in 
these and in other towns of southeastern Europe. 







The Commune's levy of addi- 
tional centimes, the dog tax, 
and certain other special 

Certain payments from the 
State of interest on funds 
in the Treasury, etc., etc.. 5,962,300 

Octroi 149,259,548 

Feesf or registration of births, 
marriages, etc., etc 250,000 

The public markets 8,030,825 

Public scales 300,000 

Abattoirs 3,420,000 

Entrepots 3,086,400 

Income from municipal prop- 
erty 1,982,400 

Taxes on funerals 913,010 

Concessions, ground in ceme- 
teries 2,334,365 

Legacies and gifts for public 

Concessions on streets and in 
public parks 

Public vehicles (cabs, street- 
cars, omnibuses, etc.) 

Sewer taxes 

Sale of old materials by pub- 
lic works department 

Individual payments for part 
cost of paving and various 
public improvements 4,315,186 

Appropriations from State 
and Department of the 
Seine toward maintenance 
of streets 4,400,000 

Special street-cleaning and 
scavenging tax 3,120,000 

Aggregate payments from 
Paris Gas Company 16,500,000 

Receipts from waterworks. . . 15,666,550 

Operations of the vidangeurs 

(night-soil companies), etc. 3,201,300 

Various receipts in connec- 
tion with the educational 
institutions 4,671,573 

Contribution of State to ex- 
penses of municipal police. 10,489,950 

Miscellaneous receipts 2,781,325 

New resources to be created. 6,793,200 

Total Ordinary Receipts . 290,856,320 







Municipal debt, interest and 
amortisement 110,900,528 

Sums due the State, for col- 
lection of taxes, etc 6,371,200 

Administration of the octroi. 9,190,160 

General administrative ex- 
penses 9,617,564 

Retirement pensions, etc 1,333,431 

Expenses of the arrondisse- 
ment mairies 872,600 

Cost of management of city 
property, markets, etc 1,496,956 

Inhumations 1,356,870 

Military affairs and services 
of protection 923,135 

" Garde rfepublicaine " 2,658,800 

Public works department, sal- 
aries, etc 4,755,335 

Architecture and fine arts . . . 4,446,690 

"Voirie" 1,554465 

Street system 24,397,360 

Parks, public lighting, etc. . . 12,322,645 

Waterworks and sewer de- 
partment 8,556,080 

College Rollin and subven- 
tions to higher instruction . 1,542, 790 

Public school system 25,892,113 

Public charity of all kinds... 26,848,940 

Miscellaneous outlays 429,484 

Prefecture of police 29,520,330 

Fire department 2,611,400 

Municipal laboratory 371,550 

Commission to examine ca- 
pacity of " cochers " 27,500 

Reserve funds 1,058,393 

Special reserve "non-dispon- 
ible" 1,800,000 

Total of Ordinary Ex- 
penses ~~ 





1892-'93. . 

In marks. 

In marks. 

In marks. 


Iii marks. 

Comprising rentals of real 
estate owned by the city, 







1. (a) Net surplus earnings 

(b) Income from accumu- 
lated gas-works reserve 


2. Waterworks, net surplus 



3. Sewer-works, net deficit of 
d opart? ftnt 

4. Central cattle-market, net 









1. Bent tax .... 

I 29,249 


I 21,754 


2. House tax 

8. Dosr tax 

4. Municipal income tax 
5. Malt tax . . 

Total receipts and outgoes 
on account of various de- 
partments of public works. 
Common schools, higher in- 
struction, etc 





Aggregate accounts of all 
forms of charitable aid. . . 
Various institutions and 







In marks 

In marks. 

In marks. 

In marks. 

Total of ordinary items 
Establishment of Victoria 













1. Administration, repair, 
and construction of muni- 
cipal buildings 









2. Street and bridge work.. 
Various fees and salaries of 
municipal servants 

Including municipal night- 
watch, and fire department. 











The above accounts include only 
the net balances of gain or loss for 
the eight departments that have 
their own distinct treasuries. These 
are (1) the Gas-works, (2) Water- 
works, (3) Sewers and sewage 
farms, (4) Cattle-markets, (5) Abat- 
toirs, (6, 7, and 8) various market 
Total incomes and outgoes of these 
special treasuries 

Operations of the Central Munici- 
pal Treasury, as shown above . . 









ABT. 1. The municipal corps of each commune is composed of the mu- 
nicipal council, the mayor, and one or more adjuncts. 

ABT. 2. A change in the name of a commune is effected by order of the 
President of the Republic on demand of the municipal council, the council- 
general and the Council of State consenting. 

ART. 5. A new commune cannot be erected except by virtue of a law, 
upon the advice of the council-general, the Council of State consenting. 


ART. 10. The municipal council is composed of 10 members in communes 
of 500 inhabitants or less ; 

of 12 in those of 501 to 1,500 inhabitants ; 

16 " 1,501 to 2,500 " 

21 " 2,501 to 3,500 " 

23 " 3,501 to 10,000 " 

27 " 10,001 to 30,000 " 

30 " 30,001 to 40,000 " 

32 " 40,001 to 50,000 " 

34 " 50,001 to 60,000 " 

36 " 60,001 or more. 

In towns divided into several mayoralties [Paris and Lyons] the number 
of councilors will be increased by three for each mayoralty. 

ART. 11. The election of members of the municipal council is by a gen- 
eral ticket (scrutin de Hate) for the entire commune. 

Nevertheless, the commune may be divided into electoral sections, each 
of which will elect a number of councilors proportioned to the number of 
registered electors, but only in the two following cases : 

(1) When it is composed of several distinct and separate groups of inhab- 
itants ; in this case, no district may have less than two councilors ; 

(2) When the total population of the commune is more than 10,000 in- 



habitants. In this case, a section cannot be composed of parts of territory 
belonging to different cantons or municipal arrondissements. Parts of ter- 
ritory having their own property (dea Uens propres) cannot be divided be- 
tween different electoral districts. 

No one of these sections may have less than four councilors. 

In every case where the division into sections is authorized, each must be 
composed of contiguous territory. 

ART. 13. The prefect may, by a special order published at least ten days 
in advance, divide the commune into a number of voting precincts which 
will concur in the election of the same councilors. 

An electoral ticket will be delivered to each elector ; this ticket will indi- 
cate the location of the polls at which he is to vote. 

ART. 14. The municipal councilors are elected by direct universal suffrage. 

All French citizens of the age of twenty-one years and upwards, not com- 
ing within any case of incapacity provided for by law, are electors. 

The electoral lists include : (1) all electors who have their real domicile 
in the commune and have lived therefor at least six months; (2) those who 
have been entered on tho list for one of the four direct taxes or on the list 
for the road duty (prestations en nature), and, if they do not reside in the com- 
mune, have declared their intention of exercising their electoral rights there. 
The members of the families of the electors comprised under the head of the 
prestation en nature, even though they are not personally included, and the 
inhabitants who, by reason of their ago or their health, have ceased to be 
subject to this duty, are also registered by the terms of this paragraph ; (3) 
those who by virtue of article 2 of the treaty of May 10, 1871, have chosen 
French nationality and declared their residence to be fixed in the commune, 
in conformity with the law of June 19, 1871 ; (4) those who are subject to 
an obligatory residence in the commune in the capacity either of ministers 
of religious bodies recognized by the State, or of public officials. 

Citizens who, not fulfilling the conditions of age and residence above in- 
dicated at the time of the making of the lists fulfil them before the final 
closure, are likewise registered. 

Absence from the commune resulting from military service will not in- 
volve any prejudice to the rules above set forth for registration on the 
electoral lists. 

ART. 15. The assembly of electors is convened by order of the prefect. 

The order of convocation is published, in the commune, at least fifteen 
days before the election, which must always take place on Sunday. It 
fixes the place where the balloting will take place, as well as the hours at 
which it is to oe begun and concluded. 

ART. 16. When there is occasion to elect successors of municipal coun- 
cilors elected by sections, in conformity with article 11 of this law, these 
elections will be held by the sections to which the councilors belong. 

ART. 17. The polls are presided over by the mayor, the adjuncts, the 
municipal councilors in the order of the list, and, in case they are pre- 
vented, by electors designated by the mayor. 


ART. 18. The president alone has police authority over the assembly. 
This assembly cannot consider other matters than the election which is as- 
signed to it. All discussion and all deliberation are forbidden. 

ART. 20. The balloting continues only one day. 

ART. 30. No one is elected on the first ballot unless he has received : (1) 
an absolute majority of the votes cast ; (2) a number of votes equal to one 
fourth the number of registered electors. On the second ballot, the elec- 
tion is by relative majority, whatever the number of voters. If different 
candidates obtain the same number of votes the oldest is declared elected. 

In the case of a second ballot the assembly is convened by law on the 
following Sunday. The mayor makes the necessary announcements. 

ART. 31. All the electors of the commune and the citizens entered on the 
list for direct taxes, or proving that they should be so entered on the first 
of January of the year of election, of the age of twenty-five years and up- 
wards, are eligible to the municipal council, subject to the restrictions ex- 
pressed in the last paragraph of this article, and in the two following ar- 

However, the number of councilors who do not reside in the commune at 
the time of election must not exceed one fourth of the members of the 
council. If it exceeds this number, the preference is determined according 
to the rules laid down in article 49. 

Soldiers and employees of the land and sea armies in active service are not 

ART. 32. The following cannot be municipal councilors : 

(1) Persons deprived of the electoral right; 

(2) Those who are provided for by a judicial council (conseil judiciaire) ; 

(3) Those who are exempted from contributing to the communal taxes 
and those who are aided by the bureaus of beneficence ; 

(4) Domestics attached exclusively to the person. 

ART. 33. The following are not eligible in the jurisdiction in which they 
perform their functions : 

(1) The prefects, sub-prefects, secretaries general, and councilors of the 
prefecture ; and, in the colonies governed by this law, the governors, di- 
rectors of the interior, and members of the privy council; 

(2) The commissaries of police and police officers ; 

(3) Magistrates of courts of appeal and of tribunals of first instance, with 
the exception of substitute judges to whom examination (^instruction) is 
not. entrusted ; 

(4) The incumbent justices of the peace ; 

(5) The accountants of the communal funds and the contractors for 
municipal services; 

(6) The public school teachers ; 

(7) The employees of the prefecture and of the sub-prefecture; 

(8) The engineers and conductors of bridges and embankments (cliamsfos) 
charged with service on the city and parish roads (voirie urbaine et vicinale), 
and the overseers of roads ; 


(9) Ministers in the exercise of a legally recognized form of worship ; 

(10) Salaried agents of the commune, among whom are not included those 
who, being public functionaries or exercising an independent profession, 
receive pay from the commune only by reason of the services which they 
render in the practice of their profession. 

ART. 34. The functions of municipal councilor are incompatible with 
those : 

(1) Of prefect, sub-prefect, and secretary general of a prefecture ; 

(2) Ot commissary of police and police officer; 

(3) Of governor, director of the interior, and member of the privy council 
in the colonies. 

The officials named in this article who are elected members of a municipal 
council will have ten days' time, beginning with the proclamation of the 
result of the ballot, in which to choose between the acceptance of the man- 
date and continuance in office. In default of a declaration addressed within 
this time to their superior officers, they will be considered to have chosen 
to continue in office. 

ART. 35. No one can be a member of more than one municipal council. 

Ten days' time, counting from the proclamation of the result of the bal- 
lot, is allowed to a municipal councilor chosen in more than one commune 
in which to make his declaration of choice. This declaration is addressed 
to the prefects of the departments interested. 

If, within this time, the councilor-elect has not made known his choice, 
he is assigned by law to the council of the commune in which the number 
of electors is the least. 

In communes of 501 inhabitants or more, ancestors and descendants, 
brothers, and marriage relations of the same degree, cannot be simultane- 
ously members of the same municipal council. 

Article 49 is applicable to the case covered by the preceding paragraph. 

ART. 41. The municipal councils are elected for four years. They are 
renewed in their entirety, on the first Sunday in May, throughout France, 
even when they have been elected in the interval. 

ART. 42. When the municipal council is found to be reduced by unex- 
pected vacancies to three fourths of its members, complementary elections 
are held within the period of two months, counting from the last vacancy. 

However, in the six months preceding the entire renewal, the comple- 
mentary elections are not obligatory except where the municipal council 
has lost more than half its members. 

In the communes which are divided into districts, partial elections are 
'always held when a district has. lost half its councilors. 

ART. 43. A municipal council can be dissolved only by a decree issued by 
the President of the Republic in the council of ministers and published in 
the Journal offitiel, and, in the colonies governed by this law, by order of 
the governor in privy council, inserted in the official journal of the colony. 

In case of urgency, it may be provisionally suspended by an order issued 
by the prefect, who must immediately report to the Minister of the Interior. 


The duration of the suspension cannot exceed one month. In the colonies 
above specified, the municipal council may be suspended by an order issued 
by the governor. The duration of the suspension cannot exceed one 

ART. 44. In case of the dissolution of a municipal council or the resigna- 
tion of all its actual members and when no municipal council can be created, 
a special delegation performs its functions. 

In the eight days following the dissolution or the acceptance of the res- 
ignation, this special delegation is appointed by decree of the President 
of the Republic, and, in the colonies, by order of the governor. 

The number of members composing it is fixed at three in communes 
where the population does not exceed 35,000 inhabitants. The number may 
be increased to seven in towns of a greater population. 


ART. 46. The municipal councils meet in ordinary session four times a 
year : in February, May, August, and November. 

The length of each session is fifteen days; it maybe prolonged by the 
authorization of the sub-prefect. 

The session during which the budget is discussed may last six weeks. 

During the ordinary sessions the municipal council may consider any 
matter which comes within its powers. 

ART. 47. The prefect or the sub-prefect may order an extraordinary con- 
vocation of the municipal council. The mayor also may call the municipal 
council together whenever he considers it necessary. He is bound to con- 
vene it when requested so to do by a majority of the municipal council. In 
either case, at the time when he summons the council, he gives notice to 
the prefect or the sub-prefect of the meeting and the reasons which render 
it necessary. 

The order of convocation contains a statement of the special and stated 
objects for which the council is to assemble, and the council may consider 
only these matters. 

ART. 48. Every order of convocation is issued by the mayor. It is men- 
tioned on the record of proceedings, posted on the door of the mayoralty 
and addressed in writing to the residences, three days at least before the 
day of the meeting. 

lu case of urgency, the delay may be shortened by the prefect or the 

ART. 49. The municipal councilors rank in the order of the list. 

The order of the list is determined, even when there are electoral dis- 
tricts : (I) by the date of the first election ; (2) between councilors elected 
the same day, by the greatest number of votes obtained ; (3) and, in case 
of equality of votes, by priority of age. 

ART 50. The municipal council may deliberate only when a majority of 
its members exercising their functions are present at the meeting. 

When, after two successive convocations, duly issued with an interval of 


at least three days, the municipal council is not assembled in sufficient 
number, the proceedings held in accordance with the third convocation are 
valid, whatever the number of members present. 

ART. 51. Questions are decided by an absolute majority of those voting, 
In case of a tie, except in the case of a secret ballot, the vote of the presi- 
dent is decisive. The vote is taken publicly on demand of one fourth of 
the members present ; the names of the voters, with their votes, are entered 
upon the record. 

Tl\e voting is by secret ballot whenever one third of the members present 
request it, or in the case of an election or nomination. 

In the latter case, after two secret ballots, if none of the candidates has 
obtained an absolute majority, a third ballot is taken, and the election is 
decided by relative majority ; in case of a tie, the oldest is declared elected. 

ART. .52. The mayor, or, in his default, his substitute, presides over the 
municipal council. 

In the sessions in which the official statements of the mayor are debated, 
the municipal council elects its president. 

In this case, the mayor may, even though he is no longer in office, take 
part in the discussion ; but he must retire at the time of the vote. The 
president reports the proceedings directly to the sub-prefect. 

ART. 53. At the beginning of each session the municipal council appoints 
one or more of its members to perform the functions of secretary during its 

ART. 54. The sessions of the municipal councils are public. Never- 
theless, on demand of three members or of the mayor, the municipal coun- 
cil, by a rising vote without debate, decides whether it will resolve itself 
into a secret committee. 

ART* 59. The municipal council may appoint, in the course of each ses- 
sion, committees charged with studying questions submitted to the council 
either by the administration or by the initiative of one of its members. 

The committees may hold their meetings in the interval between the 

They are convened by the mayor, who is their president by law, within 
the eight days following their appointment, or in a shorter time on a demand 
of a majority of the members composing them. In this first meeting, the 
committees appoint a vice-president who may convene and preside over them, 
if the mayor is absent or prevented from acting. 

ART. 60. Every member of the municipal council who, without reasons 
recognized as legitimate by the council, has missed three successive sessions, 
may, after having been permitted to make his excuses, be declared by the 
prefect to have resigned, subject to appeal within ten days of the notifica- 
tion to the council of the prefecture. 


ART. 61. The municipal council regulates by its deliberations the affairs 
of the commune. 


It gives its advice whenever such advice is required by the laws and reg- 
ulations, or when it is demanded by the superior administration. 

It protests, if there is occasion, against the quota assigned to the com- 
mune in the levying of the apportioned taxes. 

It votes on all subjects of local interest. 

It makes out each year a list containing a number double that of the as- 
sessors and substitute assessors to be appointed; and from this list the sub- 
prefect appoints the five assessors required by article nine of the law of 3 
frimaire an VII, and the five substitute assessors. 

ART. 63. The following are null by law: 

(1) Proceedings of a municipal council bearing upon a subject foreign to 
its powers or carried on outside of its legal meeting. 

(2) Proceedings in violation of a law or a regulation of public adminis- 

ART. 68. Proceedings bearing upon the following subjects take effect only 
after having been approved by the superior authority : 

(1) The conditions of leases the duration of which exceeds eighteen 
years ; 

(2) The alienation and exchange of communal property ; 

(3) The acquisition of immovables ; new buildings ; the entire or partial 
reconstruction of buildings ; the projects, plans and estimates of important 
repairs and of maintenance, when the expense, added to the expenses of the 
same nature during the current fiscal year, exceeds the limits of the or- 
dinary and extraordinary resources which the communes may raise without 
special authorization ; 

(4) Contracts; 

(5) A change in the use of communal property already devoted to a pub- 
lic service ; 

(6) Waste pasture land ; 

(7) The classification, reclassification, straightening or lengthening, the 
enlargement, abolition and naming of streets and public places, the crea- 
tion and abolition of walks, squares or public gardens, market places, 
shooting places, or race courses, the establishment of plans for the laying 
out and leveling of the municipal public ways, modifications of the plans of 
construction adopted, the tariff of highway duties (droits de voirie), the 
tariff of fees for stands and locations on any part of the main public high- 
ways, and, in general, tariffs of the various dues to be collected for the profit 
of the communes by virtue of Art. 133 of this law ; 

(8) The acceptance of gifts and legacies made to the commune when there 
are charges or conditions or when they give way to the demands of the 

(9) The communal budget; 

(10) The siipplementary credits; 

(11) Extraordinary contributions and loans, except in the case provided 
for by Art. 141 of this law ; 

(12) The octrois, in the cases provided for by Art. 137 and 138 of this law ; 


(13) The establishment, the abolition or the removal of fairs and markets 
other than the simple markets of supply. 

ART. 70. The municipal council is always asked to give its advice on the 
following matters: 

(1) Regulations relative to public worship ; 

(2) Regulations relative to the distribution of public aid ; 

(3) Projects for the laying out and leveling of the main thoroughfares in 
the interior of cities, towns, and villages ; 

(4) The creation of bureaus of beneficence (bureaux de bienfaisance) ; 

(5) The budgets and accounts of hospitals, alms-houses, and other chari- 
table and benevolent establishments, and of vestries and other managing 
boards of religious bodies whose ministers are salaried by the State ; au- 
thorizations to acquire, alienate, borrow, exchange, sue or compromise 
(transiger), requested by the same establishments; the acceptance of gifts 
and legacies which are made to them ; 

(6) In short, all matters on which the municipal councils are required by 
the laws and regulations to give their advice, and those on which they are 
consulted by the prefect. 

When the municipal council, regularly summoned and convened for the 
purpose, refuses or neglects to give its advice, the matter may be decided 
without it. 

ART. 71. The municipal council considers the official reports which are 
annually submitted to it by the mayor, in conformity with Art. 151 of this 

It hears, debates and acts upon the accounts of the receivers, subject to 
final disposition, in conformity with Art. 157 of this law. 


ART. 73. There are in each commune a mayor and one or more adjuncts 
elected from among the members of the municipal council. 

The number of adjuncts is one in communes of 2,500 inhabitants or less, 
and two in those of 2,501 to 10,000. In communes of a greater population, 
there will be one additional adjunct for every additional 25,000 inhabitants, 
but the number of adjuncts will not exceed twelve except in the city of 
Lyons, where the number is fixed at seventeen. 

The city of Lyons continues to be divided into* six municipal arrondisse- 
ments. The mayor specially delegates two of his adjuncts to each of the 
arrondissements. They are charged with keeping the civil registers (regis- 
tres de V6tat civile) and with the other duties fixed by the regulation of the 
public administration of June 11, 1881, made in execution of the law of 
April 21, 1881. 

ART. 74. The functions of the mayors, adjuncts, and municipal council- 
ors are performed gratuitously. They are entitled only to reimbursement for 
the expenses which the execution of special mandates (mandate speciaux) 
makes necessary. The municipal councils may vote to reimburse the 


mayor for the expenses of representation out of the ordinary resources of 
the commune. 

ART. 76. The municipal council elects the mayor and the adjuncts from 
among its own members, by secret ballot and by absolute majority. 

If, after two ballots, no candidate has obtained an absolute majority, a 
third ballot is taken and the election is decided by relative majority. In 
case of a tie, the older is declared elected. 

ART. 77. The meeting in which an election for mayor is held is presided 
over by the oldest member of the municipal council. 

For every election of a mayor or adjuncts, the members of the municipal 
council are convened according to the forms and delays prescribed by Art. 
48; the order of convocation contains special mention of the election which 
is to be held. 

Before this convocation, there will be held any elections which may be 
necessary to complete the municipal council. If, after the complementary 
elections, new vacancies occur, the municipal council will proceed never- 
theless to the election of the mayor and the adjuncts, unless it is reduced to 
three-fourths of its members. In that case, recourse will be had to new 
complementary elections. They will be held in the course of one month, 
dating from the last vacancy. 

ART. 78. The results of the election are made public within twenty-four 
hours, by means of a placard on the door of the mayoralty-house. They 
are, within the same length of time, reported to the sub-prefect. 

The agents and employees of the financial administrations, paymasters 
general, special receivers, and collectors, agents of the forests, those of the 
post and telegraph, and the guards of public and private (particulier) es- 
tablishments, cannot be mayors or adjuncts or perform their functions even 

The salaried agents of the mayor cannot be adjuncts. 

ART. 81. The mayor and adjuncts are elected for the same term as the 
municipal council. 

They continue in the performance of their functions, except as provided 
by Arts. 80, 86, and 87 of the present law, until the installation of their 

However, in the case of entire renewal, the functions of the mayor 
and adjuncts are, from the installation of the new council until the election 
of the mayor, performed Vty the municipal councilors in the order of the list. 

ART. 82. The mayor alone is charged with administration ; but he may, 
under his supervision and responsibility, delegate by order a part of his 
functions to one or more of his adjuncts, and in the absence of the adjuncts 
or in case they are prevented, to members of the municipal council. 

These delegations remain in force until they are revoked. 

ART. 83. In case the interests of the mayor are found to be in opposition 
to those of the commune, the municipal council designates another of its 
members to represent the commune either in courts of law or in contracts. 

ART. 84. In case of absence, suspension, removal or any other hindrance, 


the mayor is provisionally replaced, in all his functions, by an adjunct, in 
the order of appointment; and in default of adjuncts, by a municipal coun- 
cilor, designated by the council or else taken in the order of the list. 

ART. 85. In case the mayor refuses or neglects to perform any of the acts 
which are prescribed for him by law, the prefect may, after having de- 
manded it of him, proceed to the duty in person, or by a special deputy. 

ART. 86. Mayors and adjuncts may be suspended by order of the pre- 
fect for a time which shall not exceed one month, and which may be ex- 
tended to three months by the Minister of the Interior. 

They cannot be removed except by order of the President of the Republic. 

Removal involves, by virtue of law, ineligibility to the functions of 
mayor and those of adjuncts, during one year from the date of the order of 
removal, unless a general renewal of the municipal council takes place in 
the mean time. 

ART. 87. In the case provided for and regulated by Art. 44, the president 
and, in his default, the vice-president of the special delegation performs the 
functions of the mayor. 

His powers come to an end at the installation of a new council. 

ART. 88. The mayor appoints to all the communal offices (emplois) for 
which the laws, decrees, orders and ordinances in force at the time do not 
fix a special law of appointment. 

He suspends and dismisses the incumbents of these offices. 

He may cause the agents appointed by him to be sworn and commis- 
sioned, but on condition that they are approved by the prefect or sub-prefect. 

ART. 89. When the mayor proceeds to a public adjudication on account of 
the commune, he is assisted by two members of the municipal council de- 
signated in advance by the council, or, in default of this designation, named 
in the order of the list. 

ART. 90. It is the duty of the mayor, under the control of the municipal 
council and the supervision of the superior administration : 

(1) To preserve and administer the property of the commune, and to per- 
form, in consequence, all acts conservative of its rights ; 

(2) To manage the revenues, to supervise the communal establishments 
and the communal accounts ; 

(3) To prepare and propose the budget and order the payment of ex- 
penses ; 

(4) To direct the communal works ; 

(5) To make provision for measures relating to the municipal highways ; 

(6) To sign agreements, to make leases of property and contracts for com- 
munal work, in the manner established by the laws and regulations and by 
Arts. 68 and 69 of this law. 

(7) To make in the same manner, deeds of sale, exchange, partition, ac- 
ceptance of gifts or legacies, acquisition, or bargain, when these acts have 
been authorized in conformity with this law ; 

(8) To represent the commune in courts of law, either as plaintiff or as 
defendant ; 


And, in general, to execute the will of the municipal council. 

ART. 91. The mayor is charged, under the supervision of the superior ad- 
ministration, with municipal and rural police authority, and the execution 
of orders of the superior authority relative thereto. 

ART. 92. The mayor is charged, under the authority of the superior admin- 
istration : 

(1) With the publication and execution of the laws and regulations ; 

(2) With the execution of measures of general safety; 

(3) With the special functions which are assigned to him by law. 
ART. 94. The mayor issues orders for the purpose : 

(1) Of ordering local measures on the matters entrusted by law to his 
vigilance and his authority ; 

(2) Of publishing the laws and police regulations and calling the attention 
of the citizens thereto. 

ART. 95. The orders issued by the mayor are dispatched immediately to 
the sub-prefect, or, in the arrondissement of the chief town of the depart- 
ment, to the prefect. 

The prefect may annul them or suspend their execution. 

Those orders which contain permanent regulations do not take effect until 
one month after the sending back of the duplicate authenticated by receipts 
given by the sub-prefect or the prefect. 

Nevertheless, in case of urgency, the prefect may authorize immediate 

ART. 97. The municipal police authority has for its object the public 
order, safety and health. 

It includes especially : 

(1) Whatever concerns the safety and convenience of passage on the pub- 
lic streets, wharves, places and ways, which includes cleaning, clearing, 
the removal of obstructions, the destruction or repair of dangerous build- 
ings, prohibiting the exposure of anything on window-sills, or other parts of 
buildings which might cause any injury by falling, or the throwing of any- 
thing which might injure passers-by, or cause noxious exhalations ; 

(2) The duty of suppressing violations of public quiet, such as quarrels 
and disputes accompanied by disorder in the streets, tumults in places of 
public assembly, mobs, nocturnal disturbances and gatherings which dis- 
turb the sleep of the people, and all acts of a nature prejudicial to the pub- 
lic tranquillity; 

(3) The maintenance of order in places where there are great assemblages 
of people, such as the fairs, markets, public rejoicings and ceremonies, spec- 
tacles, plays, cafe's, churches and other public places ; 

(4) The mode of conveyance of dead persons, burials and exhumations, 
the maintenance of order and decency in the cemeteries ; but it is permis- 
sible to make distinctions or particular rules by reason of the belief or the 
religion of the deceased or the circumstances which accompanied his death ; 

(5) Inspection as to honesty in the sale of goods sold by weight or mea- 
sure, and as to the wholesomeness of eatables exposed for sale; 


(6) The duty of preventing, by suitable precautions, and of stopping, by 
the distribution of necessary assistance, accidents and calamities, such as 
fires, floods, epidemic or contagious diseases and distempers, if necessary 
calling for the intervention of the superior administration; 

(7) The duty of provisionally taking any necessary measures against lu- 
natics whose condition might compromise the public morality, the security 
of persons or the preservation of property ; 

(8) The duty of preventing or remedying untoward occurrences which 
mighj be occasioned by the straying of harmful or ferocious animals. 

ART. 98. The mayor has police authority over the national and depart- 
mental routes, and over the interior ways of communication, but only in 
matters concerning traffic in the said ways. 

He may, on the payment of fees fixed by a tariff duly established, subject? 
to the reservations stated in Art. 7 of the law of 11 frimaire an VI I, give 
permits for stands or temporary stations on the public ways, on the rivers, 
ports and wharves, and in other public places. 

Individual alignments, building permits, and other street permissions are 
given by the competent authority after the mayor has given his advice, 
whenever he is not competent to give them himself. 

Privileges in the public streets by precarious title or essentially revocable, 
the granting of which is included in the powers of the mayor, and having 
for their object especially the laying in public soil of pipes for the passage 
or conveyance either of water or of gas, may, in case of a refusal of the 
mayor not justified by the general interest, be accorded by the prefect. 

ART. 99. The powers which pertain to the mayor, in virtue of Art. 91, 
are no hindrance to the right of the prefect to take, for all of the com- 
munes of the department or any of them, and in all cases in which they 
have not been provided for by the municipal authorities, all measures rela- 
tive to the maintenance of the public health, safety and tranquillity. 

This right cannot be exercised by the prefect with respect to any com- 
mune until after a demand in due form of law to the mayor proves of no avail. 

ART. 103. In cities having more than 40,000 inhabitants the organization 
of the body charged with police service is regulated by a decree of the Pres- 
ident of the Republic, upon the advice of the municipal council. 

If a municipal council should not allow the funds necessary for the ex- 
pense or should allow only an insufficient sum, the grant necessary will be 
entered on the budget by a decree of the President of the Republic, the 
council of state consenting. 

In ail communes, the inspectors of police, the brigadiers, under-brigadiers, 
and the police officers named by the mayor must be approved by the sub- 
prefect or the prefect. They may be suspended by the mayor, but the pre- 
fect alone may remove them. 

ART. 106. The communes are civilly responsible for injury and damage 
resulting from crimes or offenses committed by open force or violence in 
their territory by mobs or assemblies, armed or unarmed, whether to per- 
sons or to public or private property. 


The damages for which the commune is responsible are apportioned 
among the inhabitants resident in the said commune by means of a special 
list, including the lists of the four direct taxes. 

ART. 107. If the mobs or armed assemblies were composed of the inhabit- 
ants of more than one commune, each one is responsible for the injury and 
damage caused, in the proportion fixed by the tribunals. 

ART. 108. The provisions of Articles 106 and 107 are not applicable : 

(1) When the commune is able to prove that all measures in its power 
were taken for the purpose of preventing the mobs or assemblies, and of 
ascertaining the perpetrators ; 

(2) In communes where the municipality has not the disposition of the 
local police or the armed force ; 

' (3) When the damages caused are the result of an act of war. 

ART. 109. The commune declared responsible may exercise its recourse 
against the perpetrators of the disorder and their accomplices. 



ART. 110. The sale of the movable and immovable property of the com- 
munes other than that which is in public use may be authorized on the de- 
mand of any creditor, having a writ of execution, by a decree of the Presi- 
dent of the Republic, which fixes the manner of sale. 

ART 116. Two or more municipal councils, by the mediation of their 
presidents, and after having notified the prefects, may make an agreement 
between themselves on matters of communal utility comprised within their 
powers and which interest at the same time their respective communes. 

They may agree to undertake or maintain at common expense works or 
institutions of common utility. 

ART. 117. Questions of common interest are debated in a conference in 
which each municipal council is represented by a special commission 
elected for this purpose and composed of three members elected by secret 
ballot. The prefects and sub-prefects of the departments and arrondisse- 
ments in which the interested communes are situated may always take 
part in these conferences. The decisions which are there reached take 
effect only after they have been ratified by all the municipal councils inter- 
ested, and subject to the reservations stated in Chapter 3 of Title IV. of 
this law. 


ART. 121. No commune or part of a commune may appear in court to sue 
without being authorized by the council of the prefecture, except in the 
cases provided for by Articles 122 and 154 of this law. 

After a judgment is given the commune cannot sue before another degree 
of jurisdiction except by virtue of a new authorization by the council of the 


ART. 122. The mayor may always, without previous authorization, insti- 
tute or defend any action of possession, and perform all conservatory acts 
or acts interrupting forfeitures. 

ART. 128. When a section of a commune proposes to institute or defend 
a judicial action, either against the commune of which it is a part, or 
against another section of the same commune, a distinct syndical commis- 
sion is formed for the section and for each of the sections interested. 

ART. 129. The members of the syndical commission are chosen from 
among the eligibles of the commune and elected by the voters of the sec- 
tion who live within it and by those persons who, not being on the electoral 
lists, are landed proprietors in the section. 

ART. 131. The section which has obtained a judgment against the com- 
mune or another section is not liable to the charges or taxes imposed for 
the payment of the resulting costs and damages. 

The same is true of any party suing a commune or section of a commune. 



ART. 132. The communal budget is divided into the ordinary budget and 
the extraordinary budget. 
ART. 133. The receipts of the ordinary budget consist of : 

(1) The income of all property of which the inhabitants do not have the 
enjoyment in kind [common pastures, forests, etc.] ; 

(2) Assessments imposed annually upon those having the right to benefits 
which they receive in kind ; 

(3) The proceeds of the ordinary and special centimes assigned to the 
communes by the fiscal laws ; 

(4) The proceeds of the portion accorded to the commune out of certain 
of the taxes and dues gathered on account of the State ; 

(5) The proceeds of the municipal octrois devoted to ordinary expenses ; 

(6) The proceeds of license fees collected from halls, fairs, markets, and 
abattoirs according to tariffs duly established ; 

(7) The proceeds from permits for stands and locations upon the public 
roads, upon the rivers, ports, and wharves, and in other public places ; 

(8) The proceeds of the communal tolls, the weighing, measuring and 
gaging fees, the highway tolls (droite de voiHe), and other legally estab- 
lished fees : 

(9) The revenue from the communal lands used for purposes of burial, 
and of the part of the price of concessions in the cemeteries accruing to the 
commune; * 

(10) The proceeds from water concessions, concessions for the removal 
of mud and rubbish from the public roads, and other authorized concessions 
for communal services ; 

* Two thirds ; the remaining one third is devoted to charity. 


(11) The receipts for copies of administrative and civil acts ; 

(12) The portion of the products of fines imposed by the police courts 
(tribunaux de police correctionnelle et de simple police) which the laws assign 
to the communes ; 

(13) The proceeds of the sweeping tax in the communes of France and 
Algiers in which it is established, on their demand, in conformity with the 
provisions of the law of March 26, 1873, by virtue of a decree issued in the 
form of regulations of public administration ; 

(14) And in general the proceeds of contributions, taxes and fees the col- 
lection of which is authorized by law in the interest of the communes' and 
of all the annual and permanent resources, in Algiers and in the colonies, 
the collection of which is authorized by the laws and decrees. 

The establishment of centimes on account of insufficiency of revenues is 
authorized by order of the prefect when required for obligatory expenses. 
In other cases it is approved by decree. 
ART. 134. The receipts of the extraordinary budget consist of : 

(1) Extraordinary contributions duly authorized ; 

(2) The price of alienated property ; 

(3) Gifts and legacies; 

(4) Payments of exigible principal and recoverable interest ; 

(5) The proceeds from the extraordinary cutting of wood [from public 
forests] ; 

(6) The proceeds of loans ; 

(7) The proceeds of taxes or additional taxes of octroi specially devoted 
to extraordinary expenses and the repayment of loans ; 

(8) And all other accidental receipts. 

ART. 135. The expenditures of the ordinary budget comprise the annual 
and permanent expenditures of communal utility. 

The expenses of the extraordinary budget comprise the accidental or 
temporary expenditures which are paid from the receipts enumerated in 
Art. 134 or from the surplus of the ordinary receipts. 

ART. 136. The following expenditures are obligatory upon the communes : 

(1) The maintenance of the town hall, or, if the commune has none, the 
renting of a house or hall to take its place ; 

(2) Office expenses and the expense of printing for the service of the 
commune, of preservation of the communal archives and of the collection 
of the administrative acts of the department ; the expense of subscription 
to the Bulletin des communes* and, for the communes which are the chief 
towns of the canton, the expense of subscription to and preservation of 
the Bulletin des lois; 

(3) The expense of enumerating the population, of the electoral assem- 
blies which are held in the communes and of electoral tickets ; 

(4) The expense of civil registers and of books of registry (livrets de 
famille), and that part of the decennial table of civil acts (actes de Vtitat 
civile) which is at the expense of the communes ; 

* The Bulletin des communes is no longer published, but it is replaced by the Journal 
offletel, Edition des communes. 


(5) The salary of the municipal receiver, and of the overseer-in-chief of 
the octroi ; 

(6) The salaries and other expenses of the municipal and rural police and 
of the keepers of the forests of the commune ; 

(7) The pensions at the expense of the commune, when they have been 
regularly liquidated and approved ; 

(8) The expense of rent and repairs of the apartments of the justice of 
the peace, as well as that of the purchase and maintenance of his movables 
in the communes which are the chief towns of the cantons ; 

(9) The expense of public instruction, in conformity with law ; 

(10) The quota of the expense of assisted children and of lunatics as- 
signed to the commune in conformity with law ; 

(11) Payment for the lodgings of vicars, curates, and other ministers of 
public worship salaried by the State, when there is no building set apart for 
their residence, and when the vestry boards or other managing boards of 
the religious bodies are not able themselves to provide for the payment 
of this expense; 

(12) Heavy repairs of communal buildings, with the exception, when they 
are dedicated to worship, of the previous application of revenues and re- 
sources which may be expended by the vestry boards for these repairs, and 
subject to the execution of special laws concerning buildings devoted to 
military service. 

If there is disagreement between the vestry-board and the commune, 
when the financial assistance of the latter is asked by the vestry-board 
in the cases provided for iu paragraphs 11 and 12, it is decided by decree 
upon the statements of the ministers of the interior and the ministers of 
worship ; 

(13) The closure of cemeteries, their maintenance and their removal in 
the cases determined by the laws and regulations of public administration ; 

(14) The expense of preparing and preserving the plans of laying out and 
leveling streets ; 

(15) The expense of the councils of prud'hommes, for the communes 
comprised within the territory of their jurisdiction, in proportion to the 
number of electors registered on the special electoral lists at their election ; 
the inconsiderable expense of consulting chambers of arts and manufac- 
tures for the communes where they exist ; 

(16) The assessments and taxes established by law on the communal 
property and revenues ; 

(17) The payment of exigible debts ; 

(18) The expenses of the local roads (chemins vicinaux), within the limits 
fixed by law; 

(19) In the colonies governed by this law, the salaries of the secretary 
and employees of the mayoralty ; the taxes assessed on the communal prop- 
erty ; the expenses for the service of the militia which are not at the ex- 
pense of the treasury ; 

(20) The expenses occasioned by the application of Art. 85 of this law, and 
in general all the expenses assigned to the communes by provision of law. 


ART. 137. The establishment of octf oi taxes voted by the municipal coun- 
cil, and the regulations relative to their collection, are authorized by decree 
of the President of the Republic in the Council of State, with the advice of 
the council general or of the departmental commission in the interval be- 
tween the sessions. 

ART. 140. The various taxes due from the inhabitants or proprietors by 
virtue of laws and local usages are levied by vote of the municipal council 
approved by the prefect. 

These taxes are collected according to the forms established for the. col- 
lection of public taxes. 

ART. 141. Municipal councils may vote, within the limit of the maximum 
fixed each year by the council-general, extraordinary contributions not ex- 
ceeding five centimes for five years, to apply the proceeds to extraordinary 
expenses of communal utility. 

They may also vote three centimes extraordinaires to be applied exclusively 
to the ordinary local roads (chemins vitinaux), and three centimes extraordi- 
naires to be applied exclusively to recognized country roads (chemins 

They vote and regulate the communal loans payable from the centimes ex- 
traordinaires voted as provided in the first paragraph of this article, or from 
the ordinary resources, when the liquidation, in this latter case, is within 
thirty years. 

ART. 142. The municipal councils vote, subject to the approval of the 
prefect : 

(1) Extraordinary contributions which exceed five centimes, without ex- 
ceeding the maximum fixed by the council-general, the duration of which, 
exceeding five years, is not more than thirty years ; 

(2) Loans payable from the same extraordinary contributions or from 
the ordinary revenues in a period exceeding, in this latter case, thirty years. 

ART. 143. Any extraordinary contribution exceeding the maximum fixed 
by the council-general, and any loan payable, from such a contribution, is 
authorized by decree of the President of the Republic. 

If the contribution is established for a period of more than thirty years, 
or if the loan payable from extraordinary resources is to exceed that period, 
the decree is made in the Council of State. 

It is decided by a law if the amount of the loan exceeds a million [francs], 
or if, added to the amount of other loans not yet pajid, it exceeds a million 

ART. 144. The forests and woods of the State pay the ordinary and extra- 
ordinary centimes additionels devoted to the expenses of the communes* in 
the same proportion as private property. 


ART. 145. The budget of each commune is proposed by the mayor, voted 
by the municipal council, and approved by the prefect. 


When it provides for all the necessary expenses, when no extraordinary 
receipts are applied to the expenditures either obligatory or optional, ordi- 
nary or extraordinary, the allowances contained in the said budget for op- 
tional expenditures cannot be modified by the superior authority. 

The budget of a city whose revenues are at least three million francs is 
always submitted to the approval of the President of the Republic, on the 
proposition of the Minister of the Interior. 

ART. 146. The credits which are recognized as necessary after the authen- 
tication of the budget are voted and authorized in conformity with the pre- 
ceding article. 

ART. 147. The municipal councils may insert in the budget a sum for 
unforeseen expenses. 

The sum allowed for this purpose cannot be reduced or rejected except- 
ing so far as the ordinary revenues, after having satisfied all the obligatory 
expenditures, will not permit it to be met. 

ART. 148. The decree of the President of the Republic or the order of the 
prefect which approves the budget of the commune may reject or reduce 
the expenditures allowed therein, except in the cases provided for by 
section 2 of Art. 145 and section 2 of Art. 147 ; but it cannot increase them 
or introduce new expenditures except so far as they are obligatory. 


ART. 152. The mayor alone may issue warrants. 

If he refuses to order the payment of an expenditure regularly authorized, 
it will be ordered by the prefect in the council of the prefecture, and the 
order of the prefect will take the place of the warrant of the mayor. 

ART. 157. The accounts of the municipal receiver are audited by the coun- 
cil of the prefecture subject to the appeal to Court of Accounts, for the 
communes whose ordinary revenues, in the last three years, do not exceed 
thirty thousand francs. 

They are audited and finally approved by the Court of Accounts for the 
communes whose revenue is greater. 

These distinctions are applicable to the accounts of the treasurers of hos- 
pitals and other benevolent establishments. 



Abattoirs, municipal, of Paris, 99, 100; of 
Hanover, 300; of Munich, 342, 343, 363; 
of Vienna, 431 ; of Berlin and of other 
German cities, 363, 366; of Hamburg, 
407 ; of Budapest, 456. 

Adjuncts of French mayors. 173. 

Administration, effective, in Germany, 
290, 291. 

Administrative laws of P